Thursday, February 17, 2011

Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta

I have a ton of lemon pepper seasoning in my cupboard.  I don’t know who bought it or how it got there.  It may be my roommates.  Except I have rarely seen him cook.  I think I can count on one hand the number of times he has whipped up food not from a can or a box.  In fact I sorta-kinda took over our kitchen when I moved in.  I might actually be a bit territorial when it comes to MY kitchen.

Yes, it is MY kitchen.  When I used to visit, their kitchen scared me.  I’m not going to stereotype and say all men can’t cook and clean because it simply isn’t true.  Unfortunately, my guys can’t clean (to my satisfaction) and are frankly too afraid of my wrath to get into any culinary mischief now that I am around.  I like to cook and they like to eat my cooking.  It’s a favorable arrangement.

What isn’t favorable is the sheer volume of lemon pepper seasoning taking up space in my very little cabinet of spices.  I wasn’t even sure if lemon pepper was something I enjoyed.  I was wrong.  It’s delicious.  I used this recipe as a base for the sauce.  So good, and so easy!

Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta

·        4 TBS unsalted butter
·        3 tsp finely minced garlic (I use the jarred stuff b/c I can never find good garlic)
·        ½ package (8 Oz. Package) Cream Cheese, softened and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·        1 cup milk
·        4-1/2 TSP Parmesan-Romano Cheese, grated
·        ½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
·        1 pinch Salt To Taste
·        ¼ cup frozen green peas
·        ½ box of your favorite pasta (I like the rotini for this recipe)
·        ½ lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast
·        Liberal amount of Lemon-Pepper seasoning

The first step in this recipe is coating the chicken with the seasoning.  I just lay down some foil in a baking pan and sprinkle away.  I then cook the chicken in a 350-degree oven for about 25 min or until juices run clear.  When done, remove from oven and let cool and rest.  Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Next step is to prepare the sauce.  In a saucepan with deep sides, melt the butter, add the garlic and toss in the cream cheese, stirring as it melts.  When that is all melted together, add the milk.  When the milk gets nice and hot whisk in the cheese.  The sauce is done when the cheese is melted and incorporated into saucy goodness.

While making the sauce you might want to put on a pot of water and make the pasta per the package directions.  I go ahead and throw in the frozen peas with the boiling pasta.  When pasta is done drain and toss with sauce.  Add chicken cubes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remember that the cheese and lemon pepper are flavorful so much more salt and pepper maybe unneeded.  Taste it first!

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