14 October, 2008

Cooking with Beans: Zesty Fiesta Chicken and Pasta

Lately we've been longing to spend less time running around and more time at home. That was why we bought a house in the first place, wasn't it? So, as part of our quest to spend more time at home I have been trying a lot of new things in the kitchen so dinners stay interesting.

I wanted to share two of my new recipes because both end results were so tasty, I can't wait for an opportunity to make them again.

My first dish was inspired by a bite from a frozen dinner I had a few years ago that was actually pretty good for frozen, prepackaged food. I wanted to recreate the dish with my own spin, so I sat down and tried to think about the flavors I remembered. Here's what I came up with.

Fiesta Chicken and Pasta in Cheese Sauce

You will need:
1 lb. Penne Pasta
2lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small white onion, chopped
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsps. Chili Powder
8 oz. can of green chiles (undrained)
8-10 oz low fat sour cream
10 3/4 oz can of cream of chicken soup
3 cups shredded colby-jack cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups crushed corn chips
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a medium sized pot of water on a back burner on medium-high heat and add a dash of salt. While you're waiting for your water to start boiling add oil and minced garlic to a large pan. As the garlic browns, chop chicken breast into bite sized chunks and add into the oil. Once the chicken begins turning white, cut open a piece to make sure it's about 3/4 cooked. Add the chiles, cumin and chili powder. Simmer the chicken and chile mixture for about five minutes, and then add the cream of chicken soup. Stir until all ingredients are mixed well. Allow to simmer on medium heat for five minutes. Slowly stir in sour cream and simmer once more for about five minutes. About this time your pasta water should be boiling, so pour the pasta in and stir to keep them from sticking. Returning to the sauce, add two cups of colby jack cheese slowly your sauce mixture. Reduce heat to low, and allow the sauce to simmer. Stir occasionally while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain the water and pour it into a baking dish. Add the sauce mixture and thoroughly stir. Spread the remaining cup of colby jack cheese over the top and then do the same with the crushed corn chips. Bake for twenty minutes, or until sauce starts to bubble up into the chip crust.

This is so simple to make, but it's zesty and melt in your mouth cheesy. Low fat and/or organic ingredients can easily be substituted for a healthier alternative. This is a great covered dish to take to pot luck suppers! ENJOY.

Tune in next for Shepard's Pie a la Beans.


Morgan Mandel said...

DH could handle this recipe.
I can't handle beans or spicy stuff or tummy rebels.

Morgan Mandel

Susan said...

Jenny I can't wait to try this! Thanks for sharing.