Friday, May 14, 2010

Chicken and Penne Skillet

The inspiration for this dish comes from a much-loved Pioneer Woman recipe, Penne a la Betsy. This is a family favorite and I make it all the time. It's a great skillet meal because it comes together quickly and feeds the whole family.

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Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts
1 16 oz package penne pasta
1 medium sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chicken broth or water
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp fresh basil (approximately 5 leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste


Begin by placing a large pot of water on high heat and bring it to a boil, for the pasta. I've seen a lot of different methods for cooking pasta. Here's the method that I prefer, for al dente pasta that doesn't stick.

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Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt,

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and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil in the water before it begins to boil.

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When it comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and stir a bit to separate. Set a timer immediately, according to package directions.

I prefer to err on the slightly undercooked side for this dish, since the noodles are added back in and cooked briefly at the end. This package says to cook for 11 - 12 minutes, so I set my timer for 11 minutes. I dump the noodles into a strainer right when it goes off. I finish them by returning them to the pot and stirring in 2 tablespoons of butter and lots of salt to taste.

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While the water boils and the pasta cooks, dice 1 sweet onion,

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mince 2 cloves of garlic,

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and chop 3 chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

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Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and the garlic and stir, cooking until the onions translucent.

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Add in the chopped chicken and stir periodically.

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Cook until the chicken is done and completely not pink inside. Sprinkle generously with freshly-ground pepper.

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While the chicken cooks, chop 5 or 6 fresh basil leaves,

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yielding 1 heaping tablespoon.

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When the chicken is done add in 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, stirring, to de-glaze the pan. Add 1 cup of spaghetti sauce and 1 cup of heavy cream. Stir until heated through.

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Add in the penne pasta, and lastly, the fresh basil. Salt to taste and stir to combine.

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22 comments:

AnnaMoon said...

mmmmm .... adore pasta!!! )))

laurie said...

looks yummy!

Ratz said...

Looks yummy... Sad i am a veg.... what else can we add instead of chicken???

Fire Wife Katie said...

Ratz, I've never cooked with tofu, but I bet it would work as a substitute. :) I'm thinking cauliflower, or maybe eggplant would work, too.

elizabeth said...

YUM! Awesome post...made me so hungry and I can't wait to try it out!

DarcyLee said...

I love pasta. This sounds really good and why wouldn't it be? Yummy cream!

Firefighter/Paramedic said...

Eggplant would be a good substitute.

Jamie said...

That looks amazing! I love how you show step-by-step pictures, too. :)

Thank you for stopping by and making my SITS day so awesome! :)

Mommy Needs a Vacation said...

Yummy! I am always looking for great recipes! Visiting from SITS! Happy Saturday!

Karen said...

It may be Saturday morning, but that still looks YUMMY!

Jenny C said...

Spaghetti sauce with heavy cream, a combination I never would have thought of! Delicious! Beautiful photos of the steps!!

Amy in Peru said...

LOOKs awesome!!

I hope you found some great garage sale finds!!

I miss garage sales SO much... here in Peru there is no such thing :(

Happy Sits Saturday Sharefest!

amy in peru

deyoder said...

LOVE the Pioneer Woman and this looks to die for! It's going on our list for pasta night! THANKS!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

This is what I'm having tonight. I can't believe I have all the ingredients! Thanks for sharing a more simplified recipe for us busy moms.

Blessings,
Stacie

cheri said...

so simple yet so yummy. that's what's for dinner tomorrow night. thanks for the inspiration :)

shuttling in from SITS :)

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

Hi. Visiting from SITS. This sounds so good. Thanks for sharing it.

wife.mom.nurse said...

That looks yummy :)

Rachel said...

Totally not fair... I think I've seen the same ingredients in another recipe (in fact I have, I've butchered that recipe THREE TIMES now). Now, WHY OH WHY wasn't it written to be in a skillet? Yours sounds like it wouldn't trigger wailing in the kitchen upon realizing that I have 14 pans to clean after a semi-edible meal!

Thanks for the recipe!

Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

what a yummy recipe!

The Florida Hogan's said...

Love the recipe. It's definitely a must try!

Fire Wife Katie said...

The key to this dish is salt... lots and lots of salt. :D

Linda said...

Ok, I know I am about a MONTH late in seeing this blog post, BUT I am sooooo glad I did. YUM!!!!! I am gonna make this and substitute some shrimp....mmmmm! Thanks!

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