Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chicken Tortellini Alfredo

From Simple and Delicious (March/April 2010), page 48.

Prep: 10 minutes / Total: about 30 minutes
Serves 4.

1 pkg. (9 oz.) refrigerated spinach or cheese tortellini
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup fresh baby carrots
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3/4 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 jar (15 oz.) Alfredo sauce
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Cook the tortellini according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute broccoli and carrots in 2 Tsp. oil for 5-6 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Stir in the mushrooms, onion, and garlic; saute vegetables 3-4 minutes longer or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove vegetables and keep warm.

In the same skillet, cook chicken in remaining oil over medium heat for 4-6 minutes or until no longer pink.  Return vegetables to skillet.  Stir in Alfredo sauce and seasonings; heat through.  Drain tortellini; ad to chicken mixture.  Toss to coat.

- I used half of a 19 oz. package of frozen cheese tortellini.
- I totally estimated my vegetable amounts.  My guess is I probably used at least 1/2 cup more each of broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms.
- Instead of tossing in the carrots whole, I sliced them.  Who wants whole baby carrots in a pasta dish?
- One large onion seemed like a lot to me, so I used what would probably equal a small onion (or a little less).
- I never measure garlic except by cloves.  I used one clove for this recipe, which I'm sure was less than what it called for.  Still, I think it was enough.
- Again, don't weigh my chicken--I count out chicken breasts.  This recipe was a two Costco-sized chicken breast recipe, which is usually how much I use when approximately a pound is called for.
- I didn't have a full jar of Alfredo sauce, so I used what I had and added a few spoonfuls of the chunky mushroom spaghetti sauce I had.  Mmmm.
- Perhaps I wasn't in a measuring mood--I didn't measure the spices either!  I think I used close to the right amounts for Italian seasoning and oregano, but I can never stick to the called-for amounts of basil because I love it so much.  I probably used about 1/2 tsp.
- I would really recommend timing your tortellini so it finishes cooking just in time to add it.  I cooked mine at the beginning without checking the package to see how long it would take, so it ended up hanging out in the strainer while everything else finished.  The pasta I used should probably have started cooking when the chicken did.
- To make meatless, omit chicken and increase vegetables, especially mushrooms.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Saucy Baked Chicken

Prep time: 10 min. Cook time: 45 min.
Serves 6.
6 chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 medium onion, sliced
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Pour oil into large roasting pan.  Add chicken, onion, and mushrooms, turning to coat with oil.  Bake 5 minutes; turn chicken over and stir vegetables.  Bake an additional 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium bowl, whisk flour into chicken broth.  Add vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, stirring well.

When chicken has cooked for 10 minutes, add broth mixture to roasting pan, cover with foil, and bake 10 minutes.  Remove foil; stir vegetables and bake, uncovered, until sauce bubbles and is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Heat broiler.  Turn chicken over.  Place pan 6 inches from heat and broil until chicken just starts to turn golden, about 3-5 minutes.  Serve immediately.

- I only used about 1 lb. of chicken breasts and cut them into smaller (though not bite-sized) pieces.  This made about 5 servings.
- Bottled lemon juice worked just fine.
- I had about 1/4 of a large red onion in my fridge, so I used that instead of 1 medium onion.
- I didn't have a lot of mushrooms on hand (5 medium), but the recipe worked just fine.  Still, we like mushrooms, so next time I'll go for the full 8 oz.
- We ate this over angel hair pasta, and it was good!  It would probably be good over rice or other pastas, too.
- I used a glass casserole dish instead of my roasting pan.  No big deal.
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