Friday, June 4, 2010

Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco

That's one fancy-schmancy sounding title, isn't it!!? But you know what? This dish is worthy of a 5-star name like that because it is so, so, so, so, SO (that's 5 so's, right!!? LOL) delicious! However, now that I have dangled that carrot in front of you, I have to say this is a Pampered Chef recipe that needs a PC item to make it that awesome. You could probably use any old kitchen tools for the prep but the one essential tool is 100% Pampered Chef... the Deep Covered Baker. (As long as I'm on the topic, in case any of you reading didn't know, I sell PC - so if you ever want anything just let me know & we'll get it for you!) With the well-loved DCB you can make this in the microwave!

Here is today's cast of characters:

Mezze Penne, chicken broth, white cooking wine (optional, not pictured), fresh basil, garlic, cooked, diced chicken, Parmesan cheese and grape (or cherry) tomatoes.

Step 1: Slice up 4 cloves of garlic (at least! The Gilroy in me insists you use more!) and throw a container of grape tomatoes into the baker with the sliced garlic. Pop it into the microwave for 4-5 minutes.

It's kinda fun to listen to it cook because as it gets hot the tomatoes explode! POP-POP-POP!! When it come out mash it all up - I use my Mix-n-Chop, you could probably use a potato masher.

You're essentially making your own sauce for the pasta dish right now so give it a good, thorough mashing. Once you've done that, throw in the chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper and pasta - DRY pasta. Yep! Straight from the box! How fantastic is THAT!!?

Then it goes back into the microwave for another 16-18 minutes. Stir it once after about 10. When it comes out for good add in the chicken, basil & cheese. Give it a good stir & put the lid back on. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the pasta can finish cooking/absorbing the liquid & the chicken/basil/cheese can heat/wilt/melt. This baker is stoneware so it retails the heat & redistributes it evenly. With the lid on it works like a convection oven & heats everything/keeps it hot.

I was making this to take to a pot luck so I had to run out the door with it - so I didn't get a pic of it after sitting for 5 minutes... thus the liquid still in the pot. Cut me some slack! I'm not a hoity-toity (how on Earth would you spell that!!?) compensated food blogger - I"m just a mom/housewife with a busy, busy life! Sometime you get amazing - sometimes you get reality!! LOL

This picture may bot speak to you but let me tell you, if you could smell it you would make this weekly! It is DELICIOUS!!! And SO easy. A great way to use up leftover chicken. And it makes a ton so you can send leftover to work with Hubby for lunch - or just hide them in the back of the fridge so you can have it all to yourself!

Grilled Chicken Penne al Fresco
(this recipe uses a ton of PC tools - you can make due with just about anything else - I'll offer suggestions in parenthesis.)

4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cups white cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (NOT the powdery kind!)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breast

Spray baker with olive oil using kitchen spritzer (or brush using a basting brush). Slice garlic into baker using garlic slicer (or thinly slice with knife). Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Stir after 2 m inutes. Crush tomatoes using mix-n-chop (or potato masher). Add dry pasta, wine, broth, salt & pepper.

Cover & return to microwave on high for 16-18 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil.

Carefully remove baker from microwave (it will be hot!). Remove lid & add basil, chicken & cheese. Stir well & cover. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir again & enjoy!!

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