Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo

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This was a bit of comfort food I kind of winged and kind of cheated on (who has time to make Alfredo sauce from scratch?). It was also a great recipe for what I like to call “cooking in spurts” – when I only have a few minutes here and there in the kitchen so I do little tasks throughout the day.

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First I roasted 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I set them in a glass baking dish and stuffed fresh sage and thyme under the skin. I dusted the tops with salt and pepper. Then I baked them at 350°F for about 45 minutes, until the skin was crispy and the juices ran clear.

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Then I turned on the broiler and roasted 2 whole red peppers, turning them every 5 minutes or so, for about 20 minutes, until the skin was blackened. I let that cool for a while.

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Then I came back and pulled the skin off and discarded the seeds and stem. Then I went away again.

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Coming back in, I sliced up half a package of white mushrooms and sautéed them in butter and olive oil on medium heat until brown and starting to crisp. I removed them from the heat and went away again. I’m a busy person.

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Then I decided to actually get on with the business of cooking dinner. So I diced up a sweet onion and chucked that in a large frying pan with some butter and olive oil.

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I sautéed that on medium heat until the little onion pieces turned translucent, then I chucked in a few teaspoons minced garlic, as well as some salt and pepper.

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While that was going on, I pulled apart the chicken thighs and shredded the meat with a fork. I saved some of the nice fatty juices that came out of them, to add flavour to the sauce. I also saved the little bits of herb I’d roasted under the skin.

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As well, I diced the roasted peppers.

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And brought a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. I used a four-cheese tortellini here, because I like how filling it is.

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While the water was starting to get its boil on, I chucked the chicken (and reserved juices/herbs), peppers, and mushrooms into the pan with the onions and garlic.

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Then I dumped in a jar of pre-made alfredo sauce. I always add a little bit of water to the empty jar and give it a swish to get everything left.

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I stirred that for about 5 minutes at medium heat until everything started to bubble and smell amazing.

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I reduced the heat to low while I cooked the pasta according to the package directions. I drained the pasta and dumped it into the pan with the sauce.

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And then we ATE THE WHOLE THING. That’s a lie. We didn’t. Not all in one sitting, are you crazy? But I had seconds.

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MAN CHICKEN

I’ve been craving this particular recipe for a while, but good chicken doesn’t come cheap in this town.

My oldest brother Kristopf lived in Japan for about five years.  During that time he was pretty miserly with his money, ate a lot of mayonnaise and rice, and wasn’t too inventive in the kitchen.

One of his staples during this time that did survive his return to North America and subsequent new appreciation for food is something I like to call Man Chicken.  I once cornered him into giving me the recipe, which takes up about two lines in my magic book and has no real exact measurements in it, just ‘some’ and ‘a bit’.  It’s a recipe after my own heart.

With a sharp knife, slice 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 4 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs) into 1″ strips and remove excess fat and gristle.

Slice into 1" strips.

Put the strips in a bowl and add 2-3 teaspoons minced ginger (comes in jar, just like garlic), 4 tablespoons or so rice vinegar, and 4 tablespoons or so soy sauce.  Kristopf prefers the Japanese brands of these kind of things, but he’s a bit of a snob.  Stir it up, cover it, and put it in the fridge to marinate for a little while.

Toss the contents of your bowl, chicken and marinade, into a pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through.

Serve over rice.  We ate it with steamed baby spinach.  Blamo kablam.