Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quick and Comforting: GFCF Chicken Alfredo Macaroni

Last night I needed a quick dinner that I knew everyone would eat. I had chicken thawed in the fridge and I didn’t want to make anything overly complex. I really wanted comfort food! So, with a few simple ingredients and about 20 minutes of time, we had a hearty and delicious dinner that everyone ate with gusto.
Keep in mind, you can change things up with whatever you’ve got laying around the house.
GFCF Chicken Alfredo Macaroni
1 pound diced organic, free range chicken (or other protein of your choice)
1 box (8 oz) of GF Ancient Quinoa Harvest macaroni pasta (or other GF brand/style of your choice)
1 to 2 cups (½ to 1, 8 oz package) Daiya mozzarella style shreds – dairy/soy/gluten free
½ to 1 cup frozen organic peas
½ cup sliced mushrooms (not shown in the picture)
½ to 1 ½ cups organic free range chicken broth (I used approximately 1 cup to thin cheese sauce)  
1 to 2 tbsp organic olive oil
spices to taste (I used sea salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, onion flakes, garlic powder)
Try adding other spices and veggies, or changing up the quantities to make it exactly how you and your family like it. If your child can tolerate cheese made from goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, or raw cow’s milk, feel free to experiment. Since my boys can handle cheese made from sheep’s milk, I love adding around ½ to ¾ cup of feta to give it an extra creamy texture and lovely flavor.

Now, let’s get started!

Fill large pot with water, place over high heat and bring to boil.
Add a sprinkle of oil to the water to help keep pasta from clumping, and add sea salt if desired.

In a large skillet or pan, sprinkle in olive oil and heat to medium/medium-high.
When the oil is shimmering (not smoking) add the diced chicken to the pan.
Season with salt, pepper and spices.
Mix together gently with tongs to get an even coating of spices and oil over the chicken pieces.  

When pasta water has reached a rolling boil, add GF pasta, stir and continue boiling according to package instructions.  
Continue cooking chicken until no pink remains.

When chicken is cooked, add ½ cup of chicken broth and ½ cup of mozzarella shreds. (I often keep my Daiya products in the freezer, and it’s just as easy to prepare this dish with frozen shreds.)
Add more shreds and broth until you reach the quantity and thickness of sauce desired.
Stir the sauce mixture occasionally until the shreds are melted and incorporated.
Add frozen peas and mushrooms, mix and cover with lid.

Drain cooked pasta and place back into warm pot.
Pour chicken/sauce mixture over the pasta and mix well with tongs or a pasta spoon.

Scoop into a bowl or onto a plate and serve.

There you have it! An easy and comforting meal that your whole family will enjoy, made in less than 30 minutes!
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