Big Old Chicken Breasts To the Rescue

By on April 1, 2017

I’ve been buying those big irregular sized boneless, skinless chicken breasts to feed my dogs who have gotten way overweight. But looking at the latest batch – which I got at the local supermarket for about $1.59 per pound, I thought why should the dogs get all the good stuff.
So I held one out and made this adlib casserole – which turned out pretty well.

Chicken Rigatoni with Peas, Broccoli, and Parmesan
Makes 8 generous servings
1 pound dry rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 pound) boiled in water until tender, then chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup peas
1 cup broccoli, steamed until crisp tender (about 3 minutes in the microwave
½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 cups grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 12 pan with butter.
Cook rigatoni in a pan of boiling water, until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and place in the baking pan.
In a saucepan, heat oil and butter. Add chicken meat, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, yellow onion, and garlic, each in turn, stirring. Cook until beginning to brown.
Add this mixture to the baking pan. Now combine cheeses and cream and pour over the top. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Bake until brown and bubbly. About 25 minutes. Top with additional parmigiano reggiano and serve hot.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”