Sunday, January 4, 2009

angel hair pasta with chicken

even though my children can be holy terrors, i am really lucky they DO like to eat. ask anyone who knows them - they'll eat things other kids won't touch with a ten foot pole. that doesn't mean they aren't picky. jake doesn't like tomatoes - not chunks of them anyway. he does like spaghetti sauce and tomato soup. he's also not super fond of onions, but he will eat them. neither one of my kids likes squash. but they will eat beets, either pickled or just sliced and cooked. jenna just LOVES to eat her grandma's pickled beets. they love asparagus. one of our favorite snacks to eat after paul goes to work is a bag of edamame. i'm not having much luck finding a picture of the brand we like the best, but edamame is soybeans. they come in the pod and i boil them in the microwave. i rinse them with cold water so they are cool enough to handle and sprinkle with kosher salt. then we sit down, pop them out of the pods and eat them. totally yummy and very good for you. they are high in protein and fiber.

another veggie my kids both love is broccoli. this recipe uses broccoli nicely, and while it also calls for carrots, i have left them out before, because my kids would rather just eat the broccoli. the truth is, i don't like cooked carrots all that much and that's the REAL reason i have left them out in the past. the carrots do provide some nice color, however. for the most part, i think this recipe is fairly light, and it will serve 6-8 people. or 4-6 if you have giant eaters in your house. i believe you COULD replace the butter with margarine if you prefer. but i wouldn't recommend it. :)

angel hair pasta with chicken

*4 chicken breast halves, trimmed and cut into small chunks (approx. 1 inch)
*2-3 cups broccoli florets
*2-3 carrots, sliced diagonally
*3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (i use the food chopper!)
* 1 12-oz. pkg angel hair pasta
*2 c. chicken broth (1 15-oz can will work, if that's easiest)
*1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
*1/2 cup shredded parmesan, divided
*2 T. butter
*2 T. flour
*1/4 tsp. salt (or to taste)
*2-3 T. olive oil, divided

Put water on for pasta to cook - don't forget to salt the water! Heat 1-2 T. oil in skillet over medium heat; add chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring until chicken is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes (mine took more like 9 minutes, but i'm super anal about cooking chicken). I like to get the chicken nice and browned as it looks better when mixed with the noodles. Remove the chicken from skillet and set aside. Heat remaining oil in same skillet. Add carrots to skillet; cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add broccoli and garlic to skillet; cook stirring for 2 minutes longer. Cook pasta according to package directions (do not overcook angel hair pasta - it's super nasty!). While pasta is cooking, push the vegetables to the sides of the skillet and make a thin white sauce of 2 T. butter, 2 T. flour, 1/4 t. salt and 2 c. chicken broth in the skillet, then add basil and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Return chicken to skillet and simmer for 4 minutes. Drain pasta. Place in a large serving bowl. Top with chicken and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Serve immediately.

if your skillet is large enough (mine is a 12-inch), i recommend adding the pasta right to the skillet. toss the ingredients with tongs and you're good to go. i also added onions to mine, because i think onions go well with chicken and pasta. onions actually go well with most things. but if your kids won't eat them, don't add them! the best thing about this recipe is that you could use less chicken or omit it altogether if you want - and use vegetarian broth to make it totally vegetarian. you could add whatever veggies you have in your fridge already. from start to finish, it took me less than 30 minutes to make.


Stacey Irwin said...

Holy crap.. your kids eat better then I do! I won't touch beets I don't care what form there in.and many other vegi's... I in truth I don't know of many kids who do! Can I have your kids?!
never attempted the soy bean idea.. But that might be more me...

This does look pretty yummy.. I think I will have to try it out!