Thursday, February 2, 2012

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Oooooh, this stuff was good! I know I've said this before, but Norris said I should make this every week because he liked it so much. The funny part is that I put out the same extra sharp white cheddar cheese to snack on a couple weeks ago and he crinkled his nose and wouldn't eat it. I put it in this pasta and now he wants to eat it every third night! (that Salisbury steak with mushrooms from last week was on his rotation along with something else that I can't remember. I obviously didn't listen to the request to have this every third day..that wouldn't be any fun!!) This is creamy and almost tastes like alfredo, but with some tang from the cheese. I dropped the cheese to half of the original amount because I think part of the point of using really flavorful cheese is that you don't have to use as much. It really was plenty, even for my cheese loving husband. Give it a try when you're in the mood for a comfort food pasta dish!

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Serves 4 generous portions

1 lb chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1 1/2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced (I used onion powder and some dried onion since Norris will eat those, but not real onion!)
1 tbsp flour (might need a little more)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup fat free half and half
4 oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (start here and add more if you feel it needs it, but I didn't think it needed any more)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano

8 oz pasta of your choice, cooked according to package directions

Heat olive oil for chicken in large skillet. Add chicken to skillet, brown on both sides, and cook until cook through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
In the same pan, heat the additional olive oil. Saute the garlic and onion for about three minutes, or until soft. Add flour and whisk to combine. Whisk in 1/4 cup of chicken stock, being sure to get the clumps of flour whisked in. Cook for about one minute, until bubbly, then add the remaining chicken stock, mustard, half and half, thyme, and oregano. Simmer until mixture thickens some, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and cook until melted. Add the chicken and pasta to the skillet, toss to coat, and serve.

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