Resolved: To Eat Out Less
I want you to know I deserve a medal. It is weekend number 3 of my kids' Christmas vacation, and my husband is away this weekend. Our normal routine is to order Chinese, make popcorn and watch a movie. It's to the point that they expect it when Daddy is going to be out of town. But we are trying this "only eat out once a month thing" and it's my daughter's birthday this month so....I had to come up with something else. Something that tasted like takeout but wasn't. I found a pin which originally came from this website, Southern Girl Cooking:
and decided to give it a try. Now, disclaimer. I can solve most problems on a sewing machine. Camera? Not so much. So. I have lots of pictures of raw chicken (sorry for the squeamish) and prepping, and none of the finished product because of a lens error. But it looks like Southern Girl Cooking's picture, so go over there and peek. I followed the recipe she posted. Including the half and half and the regular pasta. (She used skim milk and wheat pasta and didn't so much love the sauce) We're focusing on the eating out less, not so much eating healthy - so I'm not going to worry about that part.
Prep the chicken the morning of or even the night before. Important to note, so you don't get all excited to do this at 4pm the evening of. Not going to work. But it's so rewarding to just pick out the baggie of chicken that you remembered to marinate and get to work, because from there it's super quick! OK, so package of chicken (she said 2 breasts, I just used all 3), half a bottle of Lawry's Herb and Garlic Marinade and 2 tablespoons of prepared pesto, which isn't in this picture, because I forgot. Ha!
Now, when I prepare chicken, no matter what the recipe says, I always fillet it, and pound it. It just tastes better, texture-wise. And it cooks faster. Bonus. So, if you like: lay the chicken flat on a cutting board, and slice it into three thinner pieces, with a fillet knife.
Then, cover it with plastic wrap and pound it thin.
Back to her recipe: I stacked my three pounded pieces back on top of each other and sliced them into ribbons. I did this - fillet, pound, slice - with all three breasts.
Then I stuck them in a ziplock, dumped the marinade over them and the two scoops of pesto, sealed it, mushed it all together and popped it in the fridge for the day.
In a skillet, dump the chicken, marinade and all. Cook completely and then remove the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil. She didn't specify this part, but it's what I did. One less vessel to clean.
Once the chicken is out, to the same skillet add a swirl of olive oil, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic (I used my garlic press) 2 more scoops of pesto - it made the picture this time!, and 1/2 cup of chicken broth - again, lack of camera skill - it's behind the pesto. Let the broth cook down to half.
Then, add one 8oz can of tomato sauce, stir. Add 1 cup of half and half. I added it a little at a time so it didn't curdle.
Now, use your imagination: A wonderful creamy pinkish sauce in the skillet.
A picture of the noodles dumped over the sauce.
A picture of the chicken added to the whole mix, then plated with freshly grated pecorino romano shaved on top.
I took pictures with another camera, but can't find the cord to upload. Oy, I need a smart phone. When my husband comes home and finds the cord, I'll add the imagination pictures.
Whew, we did it! Another weekend successfully without eating out. (Pay no attention to the fact that I haven't left the house all weekend because it's in the single digits.) Just hooray with me!
And then, when you're done eating delicious dinner, head over to my friend Sue's new blog and make her Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes: http://susiesprinkleskitchen.blogspot.com/2013/01/cinnamon-bun-cupcakes.html
You might never leave the house again either! Except to go to the grocery store :)