Monday, December 13, 2010

Chicken Pasta Marinara

I don't think I can put into words how much I appreciate all of the comments, emails, texts, facebook messages and more that I received last night after I posted that I passed my Ecclesiastical Council.  I was absolutely speechless by the end of the night from every time that my phone buzzed and my iPod chirped.

And y'all know it takes a lot to get me speechless.

I woke up feeling loved.  Thank you thank you thank you.  I wish I could jump through my computer screen and give everyone a hug.

Alright, how about I share some carb-loading love?  I made this Chicken Pasta Marina after the Epic Christmas Tree Battle of 2010 and it was amazing, easy and didn't require a lot of babysitting the stove (which worked well when the chef was constantly running away from the stove to catch a falling 12-foot Christmas Tree).

Chicken Pasta Marina

1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 can Plain Pasta Sauce
1 box Penne Pasta
2 tablespoons Minced Onion
 2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 tablespoons Basil
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Pepper 
1 tablespoon Butter

What I love about this recipe is that you literally can start it and walk away, which is unusual for italian.  But it's perfect for someone like me, who gets distracted easily.

Start by boiling your chicken.

Here's a little story about me.  When Bruce and I first moved to Atlanta I was afraid of cooking meat because I was convinced I was going to poison us.  But then I realized that if I boiled chicken I could cook it for as long as I wanted (to ensure it was cooked through) without drying out the meat and serving something that resembled hockey pucks.  It was a glorious day for me.

So now I literally just take chicken out of the freezer and throw it in boiling water, cover it and walk away.  30 minutes later it should be cooked.  That's my kind of cooking.

When you're meat is just about ready to come out, pour your can of sauce into a skillet and turn the heat on medium.

Keep it simple.  Season with salt, pepper, minced onion (or you can chop up a yellow onion), garlic and basil.

I didn't really measure, but let's say about one teaspoon of salt and pepper and one tablespoon of everything else (you'll add more later).

While the sauce is heating up, take the chicken out of the water and shred it with a knife (usually at this point it's so moist that it just falls apart.

And as a bonus for me - when it falls apart, I know it's cooked.

Re-season the sauce (one teaspoon of salt and pepper and one tablespoon of onion, garlic and basil).  Turn the heat down to medium and just let it simmer.  Stir from time to time, but for the most part you just let the flavors do their thing.

Then take the pot that the chicken was in and top off the water that may have boiled off and bring it (again) to a boil.  Add your pasta (boiling the pasta in the water that the chicken was cooking in gives the pasta a wonderful flavor!) and let it cook.  Drain and add about one tablespoon of butter to the pasta.

And then enjoy.

And put your feet up and enjoy the site of your beautiful Christmas Tree, standing tall and proud.

Because at this point you don't know how long it will last.

Have a great day everyone!

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