Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 2: Chicken and Bacon Pasta

Let's get one thing straight right off the bat. This is NOT, I repeat NOT a healthy cooking recipe.

I present to you Exhibit A:

A stick and a half of that butter went into this recipe. Along with 3 cups of cream and a pound of bacon. Light and tasty this is not! In fact, if you are currently on a diet, it is possible just reading this recipe might cause weight gain.

Another thing you need to know about this recipe: to quote my friend Barb, it is very "dish intensive." Exhibit B:

This would be my sink full of all the dishes that would not fit in my dishwasher after preparing dinner. I used: my crockpot, my broiler pan, a pasta pot, a colander, a large pot, a large casserole, two mixing bowls, and a cutting board.

So now that you know this recipe will make you fat and result in lots of dishes, I'll share one more tip. When a recipe say it makes "a lot" or "serves a crowd" it is probably NOT a good idea to make it on the night before the only other adult in the house leaves on a business trip. There is NO WAY I will finish an entire casserole dish myself, even if I did eat it for lunch and dinner for the rest of the week.

Chicken and Bacon Pasta

from the blog: Taste and Tell

erves 8 - 10

6 chicken breast halves
1 12-ounce bottle Mesquite Marinade
1 lb bacon, cooked and diced ( I used slightly less than 1lb...the dog stole a couple slices)
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pepper
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for the top
1 pound small cut pasta, cooked and drained (I used penne)
a few handfuls of frozen peas (I used 1/2 a small bag)

Put the chicken breasts and the marinade in a crockpot. Cook until chicken is done, then cut into bite sized chunks. (This took about 3 hours in my crockpot on high. I think next time I would just marinate the chicken in the fridge and then bake the breasts. Dragging out the crockpot just seems to be one extra step)

In a large pan, combine the cream, pepper, butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Whisk over medium heat until combined and thickened.

Combine the pasta, bacon, chicken and sauce. Toss in the frozen peas and stir to combine everything. Pour into a baking dish, top with more Parmesan, and cook in a 350F oven until the cheese is melted. (I baked mine for about 4o minutes so the top was nice and crispy.)

A funny little side note about this baking dish: It was a wedding gift from a nutritionist I used to work with in my former life as a tv producer. I'm pretty sure she would have a panic attack if she knew I used her gift to make such a NOT healthy dish.

This one definitely gets filed under "everything in moderation." Consuming it more than once a year may be detrimental to your health! Enjoy!