Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicken & Rigatoni with Parmesan-Basil-Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

Well, I'm not quite certain what to call this dish.

"Chicken & Rigatoni"
 just sounds kinda boring and blah.

"Chicken & Rigatoni
with a Parmesan-Basil-Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce"
is waaaay too word-y and restaurant-y, not to mention too long to yell to the other room when your son asks "What's for dinner, Mom?"

So, I think I'll call it 
"Birthday Chicken"
because this is what I fixed for my birthday a few weeks back.  I'll have to be completely honest:  I was feeling kinda blue and needed {read: wanted} something yummy and restaurant-y because I knew we weren't going out for dinner {but T did bring home a yummy chocolate cake for a special dessert!}.  This is what I call a 3-pot dish because it takes three separate pots to make--but don't let this deter you!  It is really quite simple and definitely worth the effort for a special meal.  And yes, it is worth the calories.  I have tried to make this lower fat by using evaporated milk in the place of the heavy cream but was disappointed with how it turned out: the sauce was a grey/brown color and it 'broke,' or separated.  So get out your three pots and let's get cooking!

1  pound  Rigatoni pasta

4  thin-cut  Chicken Breasts, cut in half and sliced 1/4-inch thick 
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
3  Tablespoons  Butter
1/2  Cup  Onions, finely diced
4  Cloves  Garlic, diced or pressed
 1/4  Cup  Flour

3  Cups  Chicken Broth
1  Cup  Heavy Whipping Cream
 1/2  Cup  Sun Dried Tomatoes, chopped, dried packed preferred; if you do use oil packed, drain Very Well and pat dry with paper towel
1/3-1/2  Cup  Fresh Grated Parmesan, plus more for garnishplease do not use the parmesan in the green can--it has anti-caking ingredients added and will not melt nearly as nicely.
1/2  Cup  Fresh Basil, chopped
Black Pepper
Dash Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle Chili Powder, to taste

In the first pot:
Heat water to boiling; cook Rigatoni according to package directions.  Drain and toss lightly with Olive Oil to keep it from sticking together.

In the second pot:
Heat the Olive Oil over medium-high heat and cook Chicken until done, seasoning with Black Pepper and Salt.  Set aside and keep warm.

In the third pot:
Melt the Butter; saute the Onions and Garlic until the Onions are tender.  Sprinkle with Flour and slowly stir in Chicken Broth and Cream, cooking to make a white sauce.  Stir in Sun Dried Tomatoes and Fresh Parmesan; cook for 2-4 minutes.  Taste and season as needed with Black Pepper, Salt, and Cayenne or Chipotle Chili Powder.  Just before serving, stir in Fresh Basil.

To Serve:
Portion the Rigatoni among 6 plates  {rimmed soup plates look especially pretty.  Lay the Chicken over the pasta and spoon Parmesan-Tomato-Basil sauce over all.  Garnish with additional  Parmesan.  Serve with Italian Cheese Rolls and Caesar Salad.

Variations: Use Grilled Chicken Strips; add saute'd Mushrooms; switch out the Basil for Spiniach; garnish with Bacon Bits.

"Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus
concerning you."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
~Happy Thanksgiving!


I thought I'd share a picture of the cake T brought home.  I'm not quite certain why there were 8 candles on my cake.  I'll leave you to guess my true age.  {And no, 8 is not an addend or GCF or LCM.  Can you tell what math we've been working on?!Please ignore the mess in the background.  Like I said, this is a 3-pot dish.

I really don't like having my picture taken, so 'enjoy' this one.
'Nuff said.


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