Dutchess' Chicken and Pasta Bake

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Well praise be the kitchen gods! Finally, a food entry. And about time too. To end the drought, I thought I would offer up this little concoction of mine. It's the Son's current favourite and he deigns to consume even the odd couple of carrots and mushrooms. On the subject of Vegetables one must pry his mouth open to get them down and even then, it's not always a sure thing. I suspect in this dish, the carrots and mushrooms being drowned in cream and cheese, makes it somewhat palatable for him.

I personally can't handle more than a few mouthfuls of this, it's too rich for me but goes down quite the treat for the two men. And that is why, more often than not, I cook two sets of meals. Conflict in taste-buds and all that.

Some of the following ingredients will have no measurements for I measure them out by sight and the all important taste test. This may cause inconvenience to some of you so you can do what I do: When in doubt, start with half a teaspoon and work from there. Unless it's salt or pepper, then it's pinch, pinch, pinch all the way.

Dutchess' Chicken and Pasta Bake

You Need:

1 medium sized chicken breast diced into 1" cubes
300g of penne cooked to al dente
1 small carrot, skinned and thinly sliced
250g of white button mushroom, thinly sliced
1 tsp of chopped garlic
chicken stock; cube or powder
1 bay leaf
parsley, finely chopped (dried version is good too)
thyme, finely chopped                    "
salt and pepper
300ml thickened cream
olive oil for sauteing
mozzarella cheese, grated
red cheddar cheese, grated

You Do:
  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium fire. Brown chicken cubes to seal in flavour. When chicken turns a light golden brown, add chopped garlic, sliced carrots and mushrooms. 
  2. Stir fry until carrots and mushrooms start to soften. Add a bit of water to prevent things from drying out. Add chicken stock, bay leaf, parsley and thyme. Saute some more till cooked.
  3. Pour thickened cream and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cooked penne and give the whole lot a big stir. Turn off fire.
  4. Divide penne into three or four different oven-proof bowls. Set aside.
  5. Spread a layer of red cheddar and mozzarella cheeses over the penne. Amount depends on how much you love your cheese. 
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 30 minutes or until a deep golden brown.

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The Dutchess of Cookalot whipped this up at 2:58 pm

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