Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pink Alfredo Chicken Penne


This is an ever so slightly altered version of Plain Chicken's Grilled Chicken over Tomato Alfredo Sauce. I just used a different amount of all of the ingredients, and I made my chicken in Perfect Chicken style. I love Steph's Plain Chicken blog. She always posts good, easy-to-make stuff, and she's an Alabama girl. Well, she lives in Alabama. I believe she cheers for Auburn. I overlook that point. Roll Tide Roll! I meant to post this recipe in October for breast cancer awareness since the sauce is pink, but a new job, family illnesses, and grad school got in the way. I hope to pick up the blogging pace again very soon! Here is the recipe card which is already incorrect. If you want to see what I really do, scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe.



Step One: Make an oregano version of Perfect Chicken (Click the link for the recipe). The short version: Mix 1/2 t. each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano together. Rub all of the spice mix on both sides of 3-4 chicken breasts. Sear both sides in a dutch oven, and then cook 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let rest 5-10 minutes before cutting. This method makes perfectly cooked chicken for me every time.
What is the difference between regular Perfect Chicken and the oregano version? Well when you make the regular version you mix together 1/2 t. of each of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.  






When you make the oregano version you mix exactly the same amount of each kind of those spices, but you add 1/2 t. of oregano, too. 
Complicated, huh?

Please say you caught the sarcasm.









Step Two: While the chicken cooks in the oven, make everything else. First, throw 2-3 chopped cloves of garlic into a tablespoon of oil. Cook on low to medium-low heat in a small pan until the garlic begins to sizzle.  






Step Three: Bring a pot of well salted water to a rolling boil...









...and add penne rigate pasta. Let it continue to cook.  









This is what the garlic will look like when it starts to sizzle. See the little bubbles? Remove it from heat for a minute or two.










This is the kind of alfredo sauce I recommend. There is another major brand of pasta sauces (whose spaghetti sauces I usually really like) that makes an alfredo sauce that just tastes...well, weird. Get this kind. :)  









Ok, so I know that this is weird, but the first time I made this recipe there was still a good bit of time before I had to take the chicken out of the oven or drain the pasta so I started loading the dishwasher. I had just enough room for the little pan that I had used to saute the garlic so I poured the oil and garlic into the alfredo sauce jar. Then I put my little pan (it wants to be a full-sized pan when it grows up) into the dishwasher, started the dishwasher, and felt very proud that I had accomplished something. So...now I pour the oil and garlic into the jar every time. Why? I really don't know. You are welcome to do the same if you would like. 
Step Four: After the pasta rigate has cooked to your taste (I cook it past al dente. I like squishier pasta. I'm Southern. I'm not a pedigree pasta person. Cook the pasta the way you like :). ), drain the pasta. Then return the pasta to the hot pot to evaporate off any excess water (Water tends to hang out inside those little tubes).





Step Five: Add the alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, garlic and oil, and Italian seasoning to the pasta. Stir well.
 
(I just thought that I should point out that the reason you get penne rigate pasta rather than penne pasta is because the ridges in the rigate kind cling to the pasta sauce so very well. ...Yum!)
 
(I should also admit that I usually burn myself at this point because I feel that I must taste...and I rarely wait for a bite to cool before biting into it.)

This photo shows the reason that you should make Perfect Chicken. Look how perfectly cooked and juicy and pretty that chicken is. *Sigh*
 
Step Six: After the Perfect Chicken has cooked and rested, trim it of fat and tendons and then slice it to your preferred thickness. 



To serve: Top the pasta with slices of Perfect Chicken, parsley (for color), and grated real Parmesan cheese.  







Oh. My. Goodness. This is one of the easiest meals I make - cheesy, alfredo-y, slightly tomato-y goodness topped with perfectly cooked chicken and Parmesan cheese is all kinds of fantastic.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pink Alfredo Chicken Penne
Oregano Perfect Chicken, sliced - recipe follows
1 - 15oz jar Classico Alfredo Sauce
1 - 8oz can tomato sauce
2-3 garlic cloves
, chopped
1 T. olive oil
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 - 8 oz. box penne rigate pasta
Parmesan cheese

chopped parsley, optional

Cook penne rigate pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, saute garlic in oil over low to medium-low heat just until it begins to sizzle. Set aside. When the pasta has been cooked to taste, drain well and then return to the hot pot. Add the garlic and oil mixture, alfredo sauce, tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning.

To serve, top pasta with Oregano Perfect Chicken slices, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.

Oregano Perfect Chicken
Recipe available on printable version of Pink Alfredo Chicken Penne
2-4 boneless chicken breasts with or without rib meat
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. oregano
2-3 T. olive oil
Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano in a small bowl (I use my old 1/4 cup). Coat the chicken breasts in the seasoning, rubbing in to coat. Pour olive oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven, and heat to med-high. When nice and hot, add chicken to the pan (in batches if necessary). Cook 2-3 min per side. If any chicken has been removed, add it back to the Dutch oven. Place uncovered Dutch oven in a 350 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Let sit on a plate 5-10 minutes before cutting, shredding, or eating.
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