Last night, I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner. He told me he wanted something with chicken and pasta.
I was up to the challenge.
If you pay any attention to the food pins on Pinterist you've probably seen some of the macaroni and cheese recipes that require nothing but a pot, milk, macaroni, and cheese. This one, for example, from whiteonricecouple.com. I decided to put the method to the test, and couple it with my usual Cajun chicken and vegetables.
My husband called it "amazing." I thought it was a little bit more of a pain in the ass than pinners the world-round let on. But it still tasted pretty awesome and it was a nice consistency. I'll probably use the method, again, and for shits and giggles, though I would share our dinner with my six faithful readers.
Uber Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
What you'll need:
2 chicken breasts
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
8 oz pasta (I used cellentani)
3 cups whole milk
2 slices pepper jack cheese (I used Sargento pre-sliced)
1/4 cup Sargento 6 cheese Italian, shredded
2 tsp butter
Old Bay seasoning
Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's)
1. Cover chicken breasts with equal parts Old Bay and Cajun seasoning until they are covered. Add salt and pepper to taste. I let them "marinate" in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, but only because I was bored and needed something to do at the time.
2. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 cups of milk, bringing to a simmer/boil (Note: I started the milk in a double boiler to keep it from burning. It really never got hot enough, so I had to move it to a regular sauce pan. If you start out with the sauce pan, be sure you are standing by to stir continuously). This will take awhile, so get started on the chicken and veggies.
3. In a skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for approximately a minute.
4. Add chicken and cover. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then flip. Re-cover.
5. Add the onions and mushrooms around the chicken. Sprinle with seasoning to taste, and then re-cover.
6. Your milk should be about to the simmering point. Add in the pasta, and let it come back up to a boil (roil, big simmer... Whatever. Milk doesn't really boil...). You'll want to be stirring to keep it from burning (nothing smells worse than burnt milk, by the way). Add the additional milk as needed to keep the pasta cooking (you don't want it to drink it all up before it's done all the way through).
7. Back to the veggies/chicken: Once the onions have started to soften, add the bell peppers. Cover.
8. Once the peppers have softened, slice the chicken thinly and mix it in with the vegetables. I slice it in the pan, but you can remove it, slice it, then throw it back in. I like to cook the chicken breasts whole, first, because they stay juicier that way. When you slice them, they will release some of their juices. It's tasty. I promise. Once the chicken is cooked through, turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
9. Okay, back to the pasta. Again. The pasta should be soaking up the milk as it cooks. Once the pasta is cooked through, remove it from the heat and quickly throw in the cheese (The pasta, as a whole, took about 35 minutes from heating up the milk to finish).
10. Stir cheese in until it is melted through.
11. Spoon pasta into bowl and cover with chicken/veggie mixture.
12. Mix. Eat. Enjoy.
|I really need to get better about my presentation before I snap the picture.|