Sunday, September 29, 2013

Easy Italian Chicken with Bertolli Bowties

 I recently received an email from one of my readers, Dave. He wanted me to take a look at a certain crock pot recipe, and he had a few questions about it. As I said to him, I really don't like to cook chicken in a crock pot because it often comes out overdone or rubbery. I just think it's not good to cook chicken for such a long time. So I told him I'd probably nix the crock pot altogether and just make the recipe on the stove top. Of course you know I needed to try it out to see if I was right. A few changes in method, a few extra ingredients, and here we are!
  I have to say, I think it turned out pretty great! It's really simple and flavorful! And it was ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect! I honestly have no idea where Dave found the original recipe, but like I always say, since he's the one who brought it to me, he's the one who gets the credit! Thanx for the inspiration, Dave! I hope you'll give my new version of this recipe a try!

flour for dusting
salt and pepper
3 or 4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
a few glugs of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes
1 envelope Lipton Savory Herb w/ Garlic soup mix
1 heaping tbs tomato paste
a few shakes crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb Bertolli bowtie pasta
Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh basil

 Place flour and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken pieces, a few at a time. Toss until coated. Shake off excess flour. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add floured chicken to pan. Saute until browned on all sides, but not cooked all the way through. Do this in batches so you don't crown the pan. As you finish browning each batch, remove the chicken to a plate and set aside. Pour out any oil from the pan and use a paper towel to remove any excess flour that is still in the pan. Add a little fresh oil. Add the chopped onions and saute until they begin to soften a bit. Add the tomatoes, soup mix, pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Give it a good stir until well combined. Add the chicken back to the pan, stirring to coat. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, boil the Bertolli bowtie pasta according to package directions. Serve chicken over pasta with a little sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and some chopped fresh basil.

You can use any kind of tomatoes you want. Crushed, puree, diced, plain, low sodium, with Italian herbs, whatever you like. It will all work.
There's no need to add any seasoning to the sauce because the soup mix takes care of that for you.
If you don't have bowties, try it with any other Bertolli cut pasta, such as ziti, rotelle, or penne. You can certainly try it with another brand of pasta, but I bet it won't taste as good.

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