Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baked Chicken Penne

I can't remember if I found this recipe on Pinterest or not but it is a modified version of one I found here.  The Real Mom Kitchen is a fantastic site with tons of great recipes, so check it out!

Here is the recipe -- for the way I made it.

Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne
  • 6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes

  • kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 pound penne rigate 

  • 1 swirl of olive oil for veggies

  • 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 6 cups whole milk

  • 10 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (I just used one entire package of sliced mushrooms)

  • 3 whole carrots diced up

  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli - thawed and drained

  • 1 onion

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded italian cheese

  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 6 ounces)

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter use cooking spray in two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. If you’re going to freeze one, use a disposable foil pan.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta; drain pasta and set aside.

  2. While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Dice up chicken pieces.  While chicken pan is still hot, toss the carrots and onion in and saute for approximately 5 minutes.  Add in mushrooms and saute until golden brown.  Use a little extra olive oil if needed.  Remove from heat, add in broccoli and set aside.

  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot , melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more. Add vegetables; cook 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in italian cheese mix and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes.  If freezing, place remaining parmesan cheese in a zip-top baggie.  If cooking, sprinkle on top.

  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I actually found this dish to be slightly bland, but very good.  Next time I would add a little more seasoning.  I am thinking some fresh basil would go really well with the other flavors.  One of the best parts of this dish is that it makes enough for leftovers and an entire freezer meal for later on.  

Enjoy!  And be sure to check out Real Mom Kitchen -- she has some of the BEST recipes! 

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