Monday, December 29, 2008

Easy Chicken and Pasta

My husband, on the way home from church yesterday, said, "Honey, would you like me to cook dinner tonight?" Wha..wha..what? Um, sure, yeah, twist my arm! "Do you want chicken or hamburger?" I told him my preference would be chicken, but if he was cooking I wouldn't be picky as long as it had some veggies for the girls. When he found this recipe on the net at I was very shocked & surprised as my hubby doesn't do veggies as a general rule. In fact, I describe my husband as a pasta-tarian. This was very yummy, but I think we are going to tweak some things next time. See below for additional thoughts.

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut up
1(10.75 oz)can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup(regular or fat free)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed(I just had plain, old basil, already crushed in my cupboard)
2 cups frozen vegetable combination (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
2 cups uncooked corkscrew-shaped pasta
grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often. Set chicken aside.
Add soup, water, basil and vegetables. Heat to a boil. Add pasta. Cook 10 minutes, over medium heat stirring often.
Add chicken back in. cook 5 minutes or until pasta is done, stirring often. Sprinkle with cheese.

**So here are a few extra thoughts. I personally CAN NOT stand dry poultry(chicken, turkey, etc.)So I've learned to brine it first. This recipe is one you'd definitely want to brine your chicken on, or I feel it will end up dry.

*Brining- 1 quart of cool to room temp. water with 1/2 cup kosher salt mixed until dissolved. If you don't have kosher salt, use 1/4 cup table salt. Place 1 # of chicken in water & soak for no more than 20 minutes. Rinse your chicken, & then either cook as per recipe or pan fry 3-4 minutes per side.
With this particular recipe, brine your breasts whole, then cut up before you cook it.

Our family also loves onions & garlic, so next time we make this, I think I'm going to throw some fresh onions in with my chicken to saute & then add a clove or 2 of fresh garlic when I add the veggies.
We topped ours with fresh grated Parmesan & a bit of cracked pepper, from the pepper mill. This was definitely good, easy & an all in one meal! ENJOY