May 31, 2012

How to Boil Water: Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

With all the mad skills I have now cooking maybe I should rename this series. Nah, this name has grown on me and is definitely the perfect name for this series. It's all about learning to cook, and let's be honest there are always things that we can learn. All that being said, probably unnecessarily, I'm baaaack! Yup I cooked tonight. And actually I've been doing a little cooking here and there, but as I had said during Week 16 I need to get this eating thing under-control. So I cooked tonight. It was a crazy easy meal but hey I cooked it with my own two hands, so we are totally doing a 'HtBW' on this meal. Because for one it was really good and two it was so easy that this is a great one to share so that you all can do it too. I know, I'm so nice.

Ingredients:
1/2 pkg. linguine (8oz)
1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets - I used frozen because that is just easiest for me especially since these days I am never sure when I will actually feel like cooking or be able to eat whatever it is, so this meal I could make at any point and not worry about the fresh broccoli going bad. Also, I used a little more than 1 cup. I thought it looked like too little and I love broccoli so I actually did probably closer to 2 cups, so I guess it's really up to you with how much you use. 
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts, cubed - I actually ended up using less than 1 lb, but that was technically on accident. When I first pulled out the chicken to defrost the pieces looked huge so I thought that was more than plenty but apparently they weren't as big as I initially thought they were. That's what I get for being a little out of it when prepping a meal. 
1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
 1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Cook linguine according to package directions. Add broccoli for last 4 minutes or cooking time. Drain. (I got angel hair pasta for this which is basically the same thing, and my total cooking time was 4 minutes so I just put it in for the whole time. That's most likely what you'll end up doing if you get a thin pasta because the cooking time is so little.)

Heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often. (I have learned a couple things here: First, use a bigger skillet because you will be combining everything in it later. I ended up having to put everything in my pasta pot because I didn't want to dirty another dish because I read the rest of the instructions and realized what I needed to do differently. Second, read all the instructions before beginning - such a rookie mistake! Third, you really don't need to stir the chicken as often as you think. I have learned that sometimes it's best to leave the meat alone and really give it a chance to cook up. I used to turn my meat and mess with it too much which is why I always had such issues cooking it.)

Add soup, milk, cheese, pepper and linguine mixture and heat through. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese. Serves 4. (Like I said before I learned that I needed to cook the chicken in a bigger skillet so I could add everything to my chicken and not have to add it to my linguine mixture. It was fine. But lesson learned. And yes, it is really as simple as that.)





I served this meal with some cinnamon applesauce and a glass of milk. We always have a milk at dinner - well, when we have these sit-down dinners we do. It's so good for you and a good habit to get into now so we as a whole family will drink milk at dinner, especially our kids because we all know it's super good for them!

Over all this was a really really really easy meal. We added it to our favorites book now and is added to our list of meals we are planning to have/make after the baby is born, especially since Rob will be doing a good chunk of the cooking for me especially that first week. I really recommend giving this one a try. Maybe do some bread and butter with this or some cottage cheese. Cottage cheese would have been good too but alas we were out. Next time. Because there is definitely a next time with this meal.


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