We are a verrrry busy family. At least one of my onions has a game or practice or a lesson of some sort 6 out of 7 days a week. Husband and I both work full-time jobs and do freelance work on the side. Evenings are a rat race to get home from practice, have supper, do homework, take baths and get the kids to bed by 8:00.
I'm not getting all "whoa is me" on you... I LOVE our crazy life! Some people look at me cross-eyed and ask how we do it. But what's true is, the one day we're all home by 5:30 we're all looking at each other like, well... what are we going to do?? And we end up out in the yard playing baseball or in the cul-de-sac playing street hockey.
I tell you all this so you'll understand why so many of my recipes are shortcut recipes. My inner culinary goddess feels skanky about it sometimes.
Anywho... Flossy has discovered chicken alfredo and asked for it yesterday. I had a jar of the prepared crap in the pantry and decided to jazz it up a bit. I'm happy to report that she single-handedly finished off over half of it in two days.
Blackened Chicken Pasta Alfredo
1 tablespoon Chicken Scratch**
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces bow-tie pasta
1 15-oz. jar prepared alfredo sauce
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon Chicken Scratch**
To prepare chicken:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with Chicken Scratch on both sides. Place chicken in hot pan and sear on each side until deeply browned. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and remove from heat (chicken will finish cooking through so long as you leave it covered while you finish the pasta and sauce).
To prepare pasta and sauce:
Pour sauce in a medium-sized pan and heat on medium-low. Add milk to sauce jar and microwave on high (without the lid) for 30 seconds. Replace lid and shake vigorously (this step is to get all the alfredo that won't pour out of the jar on its own since it's so thick). Add milk to pan. Add Chicken Scratch and stir well.
While sauce is heating, cook pasta per manufacturer's instructions in liberally salted water. Drain pasta.
Slice chicken into strips or bite-sized pieces. Combine pasta, sauce and chicken and toss to coat. Garnish with fresh, chopped parsley if desired.
*I do mean LARGE... like the plump fresh chicken breasts. If you're using the individually frozen chicken breasts, you might want to use four.
**Chicken Scratch is the seasoning mix I came up with years ago to use on roasted chicken but I love it so much I use it each and every time I cook chicken no matter whether I'm frying it, baking it, etc. The best thing about it is that you can really use it liberally because it's only 25% salt! Make a batch of this and store it with your other spices... I promise you'll want to use it again once you've tasted it!
This is a seasoning mix I came up with years ago that I use each and every time I cook chicken. For more recipes using Chicken Scratch, click here.
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper*
1 tablespoon onion powder
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. I keep mine in a large used spice container that still has its shaker top for easy use. Season chicken or other poultry LIBERALLY with mix (this is made with less than 25% salt so you can rock it out!)
*if you prefer a Southwest vibe, use chili powder instead