Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne

Do you ever get sick of making the same old thing for dinner?  I am so sick of spaghetti that the smell of it now makes me sick.  EEEWW!  But, my kids love spaghetti and it's one of the few things that L will eat without fussing, so we eat it at, orTHEY eat it.  I'd rather have a ham sandwhich.

Anyway, I'm always on the hunt for new recipes.  I visited one of my favorite recipe blogs - Real Mom Kitchen.  Laura has four kids, just like me and she always has great recipes on her blog.  This week, I picked Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne

Picture from Real Mom Kitchen (Laura's picture is prettier than mine!)

Doesn't that look good?  So, here's the recipe:

Baked Cheesy Chicken Penne

6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes

kosher salt and black pepper

1 pound penne rigate (I used a 14.5 oz box of Ronzoni Smart Taste Penne Rigate)

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each), halved horizontally (I used some leftover cooked chicken)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

6 garlic cloves, finely minced

6 cups whole milk

10 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (I used 8 oz of button mushrooms)

1 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces) (I used an italian blend that had provolone in it)

1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 6 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. If you’re going to freeze one, use a disposable foil pan. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside.

While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. While chicken pan is still hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown (3-4 minutes). Use a little extra olive oil if needed.(Since I used left over chicken, I just cooked the mushrooms in the olive oil)

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot , melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer. Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes. If freezing, place remaining parmesan cheese in a zip-top baggie. If cooking, sprinkle on top.

Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Freezer instructions:

To freeze, prepare through step 4 and then let pasta cool. Cover pan well with plastic wrap. Place extra cheese in baggie (for topping) on top and then cover entire pan well with foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. To bake, preheat oven to 400. Remove foil and plastic from pan and set cheese baggie aside. Place foil back on pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil, stir pasta, and top with cheese. Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes (I only did 10 minutes) or until mixture is hot and bubbly throughout.

*I added 3 pieces of bacon crumbled to the mixture before baking. 

See?  This is mine.  Doesn't Laura's look prettier?  I know, I need a pretty baking dish and some parsley on top, but I'm just keeping it real.  My kids would just pick off the green stuff anyway.  Speaking of keeping it real, I didn't clean my stove before I took this picture.  Oops! 

I'm linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.


  1. I can see why you picked this one - yum! I love the addition of bacon! (Oh - and my kids would pick off the green stuff too!)

  2. Oh my goodness this is making me drool!!
    Love that you keep it "real" you make the rest of us know that we are normal too! Have a great day friend!

  3. You. Are. Killing. Me. with all this great food. I'd REALLY like to lose a few pounds before my son's wedding in April, and it will take me a good while to do it. When I see your great recipes, I think I'm doomed. :P But keep them coming girl. They look good and give us something new to try.

  4. That's it! I can't Follow you anymore. ;) Your recipes are too delicious looking. I think I gained 4 pounds reading this. ;) ;)

  5. Oh wow, that looks so good! Good call on adding some bacon, that's always a good thing :)

  6. This looks great and it is exactly the kind of food that I like to eat!

  7. That looks fabulous! I will definitely give it a try!

  8. I don't know what to stop doing first... laughing at your funny commentary or drooling over the recipe.

    This would be a great family recipe AND a great one to take to someone because it freezes well and is sure to please.

    Yep. There is no possible way it can be anything but delicious.

    Putting it in the keeper file!