Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spinach and Artichoke Alfredo Chicken Pasta

Yum's a mouthfull I know. It still sounded better than Spinach Dip Chicken...and well that doesn't even let you know there's artichokes in there. I saw this recipe from Emily Bites and immediately thought, "Add more cheese and pasta and voila!"  Cause you can't have enough cheese and pasta in your life.  And, well, I needed some way to use up the rest of the Romano blend I purchased for my cheese trials.  Which reminds me, I need to check my email to see what's left to do that on the research study.  I did find out that the nearest shop that sells that cheese is 31 MILES AWAY!  In this area, that could be anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.  You just never know in the DMV.

I didn't plan my meels so great this week.  I didn't have anything planned for Sunday, and wound up roasting a chicken.  Oh yeah, I need to post that one, too.  CRAP!  I didn't put those pics up to use.  I wonder if they're still on my phone.  This is how my brains works goes in leeps and bounds.  Sometimes I have to explain to people how I made the leap, as they didn't follow my train of logic.  It should be train wreck of logic.  *snort*

Oh yeah...chicken recipe.  That's where I was!  So, I bought a roaster for Sunday, but planned THIS recipe for Monday.  Chicken back to back does not sit well with S since he has chicken 75% of the time at work as it is.  He's gonna grow feathers...I swear it.

So, Monday we had the Philly Sloppy Joes instead.  Those are good, but the sauce just never thickens up for me.  I wound up putting a little slurry in it so it would thicken and we could eat.  Those and some microwave fries.  *drool*

Chicken!  I'm getting there!  Sheesh!  So, yesterday I had had enough of this nasal congestion.  I mean 5 weeks is long enough, right?  And the pressure that kept me awake most of the night just was the icing on the cake.  I called in and went to urgent care.  My initial thoughts on this recipe was to put the chicken, chokes, and nach in the slow cooker, then when I got home, make the alfredo sauce, cook the pasta, toss it all together and pop it into a casserole dish and bake.  I might do that next time.  That would mean having to shred the chicken a bit I think.  If you do, you could save some calories and cut the chicken two 2 breasts.  I used three MEGA BREASTS about 7oz each.

So, I thawed the spinach and then wrung it out in an old tea towel.  I have one that's kind of stained from spinach wringing that I use JUST for wringing spianch.  S said, "A tea towel?  Why?"  Me, "To wring out the spinach.  Draining it just doesn't cut it."  S, "Oh."  *snort*

I SHOULD have chopped the chokes a little more.  They were a bit chunky in the casserole.  I probably will do that next time.  Not that I don't LOVE chokes, but maybe it's just me; casserole ingredients should be about the same bite size.  I tossed the chokes and nach in a large mixing bowl with 1/3 cup of the Romano cheese blend.

Then I chopped the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  At this point, I started a pot of water to cook the penne pasta while the chicken cooked.  I sauteed the chicken over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes per side or until almost done.  I knew that they would sit a bit before I assembled and finished cooking the casserole.  I didn't want them to be too dry.  *shrugs*

Once the chicken and pasta were cooked, I could concentrate on the alfredo sauce for the casserole.  I combined 2 cups of skim milk and 2 T flour in a saucepan over medium heat; stirring with a whisk until thickened.  *giggles*  Here's my "action" shot:

Once the milk mixture is thick, add the remaining 2/3 cup of the Roman cheese mixture along with a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg.

Whenever I make a bechemel or alfredo sauce, I always add a pinch of nutmeg.  I find that it truly does round out the flavor of the sauce if I do.  It's not so much that most people will notice the flavor, but they will taste something in the background enhancing the sauce.

I combined all the elements in the large mixing bowl, then poured them into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray.  Then I topped it with 1 cup of shredded, part-skim, mozzarella cheese.

I baked the casserole in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

Spinach and Artichoke Alfredo Chicken Pasta

by A Kitchen Hoor
  • 10 oz spinach, chopped, frozen
  • 12 oz artichoke hearts, marinated and quartered
  • 14 oz artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 22 oz chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 c Romano, Parmesan, Asiago cheese blend, shredded
  • 2 c skim milk
  • 2 T unbleached flour
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1 c part-skim, mozzarella cheese, shredded
Thaw spinach and wring out in a tea towel to remove as much water as possible.
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine artichokes, spinach, and 1/3 cup of the cheese blend in a large mixing bowl.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook until almost completely cooked. Remove from heat and add to spinach mixture.
Cook pasta according to package directions omitting salt and oil. Drain and add to spinach mixture.
Combine milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and add remaining 2/3 cup of cheese mixture and a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg. Add to spinach mixture and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1 cup of part-skim mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 until the cheese and melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
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  1. Hi there! I found you through Saturday Dishes! This sounds delish! I will be pinning! Thanks for posting!

  2. Thanks for bringing this over to Saturday Dishes. This looks fabulous.

    We have a party at Tumbleweed Contessa on Monday. I'd love it if you brought this over.

    The Contessa (Linda)

  3. Just saw your link over at Hammock Tracks Casserole link party and thought I'd come over and check out your recipe. Looks delicious!

    Would love for you to link up a few recipes at my link party going on right now too @The Weekend re-Treat!

    Hope to see you there!

  4. Saw this over at the Think Pink Sunday party. This sounds amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. Can't wait to make it soon.

  5. Love your blog! Thanks so much for linking up to Saturday Dishes. This week we'll have a St Patrick's day party - bring anything green!~ Paula