Cheesy chicken pasta

I started with this recipe as a guide. However I decided medium cheddar would be much better then sharp, I exchanged green chillies for pimentos, doubled the onion, added garlic, and added corn, oh and I changed the pasta. Rob devoured it, I took it to work and everyone loved it. Not to mention it freezes beautifully.

5 Chicken thighs bone in skin on
2 Cans condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
1 Pound Medium cheddar cheese grated
1/4 Green onion diced
1 Small white onion diced
1 Small can mild green chillies
2 Cloves garlic chopped
1 cup frozen white corn
1 Tsp season salt
1/4 Tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper
12 Oz small shells pasta
3 Cups water

Preheat oven to 375. Boil water and chicken for 20 minutes or until nearly finished cooking. While chicken is cooking chop and dice all ingredients and add to large bowl. Add in 2/3 of your shredded cheese, canned soup, green chillies, and seasoning. Remove chicken and set it aside to cool. Remove two ladles full of broth and add it to the bowl. Add pasta to water and cook until mostly soft. Remove and discard skin and cut chicken from bone. Shred chicken and add to bowl. Drain pasta and add to bowl. Combine all ingredients and place in large baking dish. Top with remaining 1/3 cheese and bake for 15 minutes.

This makes an enormous amount of food. However if you want to freeze it do so after you top with the cheese before putting it in the oven. I would freeze half and cook half. Simply cover with foil, or place in freezer safe Tupperware. This will make about 7-10 servings depending on portion size. I got close to 10 cups of food and it made great left overs.

At this point, I started mixing with my hands.

Printable version
(Click to enlarge)

Smokey mozzarella chicken

4 Pieces chicken
1 cup tomato basil tomato sauce
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp Chicken seasoning
1 Tsp chicken rub
1 Tsp favorite house seasoning
2 Pinch crushed red pepper
5 Cloves garlic chopped
6 Slices smoked mozzarella
Fresh basil ribboned
Olive oil

Preaheat oven to 375. Drizzle baking dish with olive oil. Chop garlic. Mix seasonings in small bowl and season both sides of chicken with seasoning, salt, pepper and olive oil. Place chicken presentation side down (for me its skin down) and surround with chopped garlic and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Slice mozzarella. Once it is sliced remove outer layer of tough skin (pictures below). Remove foil and check chicken, when it is just about done flip so it is presentation side up (skin up) and top with about 2 tblsp tomato sauce for each piece and 2 slices of cheese. Bake uncovered for 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Turn oven onto broil and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melty and bubbly. Plate chicken and scoop out pieces of garlic and pan juices and drizzle over the top and top with basil.

My favorite new seasoning (salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, sage, cayenne, and crushed red pepper)

To remove outer layer of cheese cut just the edge and peel around to remove tough layer of smoked cheese.

** I found the smoked mozzarella tasted very very smokey when I ate it raw. However after it was cooked it melted into a very buttery subtle smoke flavor and was delicious. You do want to remove the outer rind because the smoking process makes the outer layer very tough.

Asparagus and potatoes

1 bunch asparagus trimmed
2 potatoes thinly sliced
1/2 red onion thinly chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
olive oil

Heat sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat. Chop veggies. Trim asparagus (pictures below). Add asparagus, potatoes and onion to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and leave, stirring every few minutes allowing potatoes to brown up. Halfway through add in garlic and toss together (you add it later so it doesn't burn). Cook for about ten more minutes and serve.

Hold asparagus from each end and bend it until it snaps. Once it snaps lay it next to your bunch of asparagus and cut it to the same length. That gets rid of the woody tough ends. These can be saved for making soups later.


Line up and cut

Perfectly trimmed asparagus

Thin sliced potatoes

Roughly chopped garlic

Thin sliced onions

Toss in pan