Sunday, September 30, 2012

New dinner recipe

Last week I auditioned this Bayou Chicken Pasta for a "pantry" meal. I've been looking for recipes that can use either fresh or freeze-dried/dehydrated/canned ingredients so that I can make them no matter how long it's been since I last went to the store.

Below is the recipe as it's written (with my notes in italics).

Bayou Chicken Pasta - serves 6-8

16 oz. linguine (I used spaghetti. It would also be fine with penne.)
1/4 cup salt
2 tbs garlic oil (olive oil)
2 12.5 oz cans chicken (1 pint bottled chicken)
2 tbs Emeril's Essence seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 cup freeze dried onion flakes (I used a small fresh onion, chopped, and 3 green onions, sliced that needed to be used up)
4 tsp dried chives
1/2 cup water (I never used this. Maybe it's meant to rehydrate the onions?)
1 7 oz. can diced green chiles (I used a small green bell pepper because I had one that needed to be used up)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (I used two cloves of minced fresh garlic)
2 cans evaporated milk (mine were the 12 oz size. I was happy to find another recipe that calls for canned milk!)
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (the fire-roasted kind are my favorite)
1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water (I didn't need this)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (shredded, but grated would work just as well)
1 tbs dried parsley

(I also added 4 stalks of chopped celery because it seemed like the right thing to do.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Before draining reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
While the pasta is cooking prepare the sauce: season the chicken with 1 tbs Essence seasoning and 1/2 tsp. salt and brown it over medium heat in 1 tbs. garlic oil (I skipped this entire step and just added the chicken at the end, seasoning to taste.) Add a tbs. oil to a skillet and cook onions, chives, garlic, and chiles (and the celery and bell pepper). Add the milk, 1 tbs. Essence seasoning, and  remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and heat over medium heat until sauce is boiling and reduced by half, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken, the drained pasta, and the tomatoes and heat through. If necessary, add the pasta water. (Mine was a little bit too thin already because I wasn't sure how long you should boil the sauce and I was in a hurry because I was hungry. After it cooled it thickened up quite a bit.) Add the parmesan cheese and dried parsley flakes. Serve immediately.

This was an easy and very tasty meal. Everyone who ate it enjoyed it. I think I will put it in our regular dinner rotation.

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