Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 22

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 1

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 2

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 3

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 4

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

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 5

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 9

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 7

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 13

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 10

As well, I diced the roasted peppers.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 11

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 17

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 14

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 15

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

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 16

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 19

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.

Roasted Chicken and Red Pepper Alfredo 20

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 16

I’ve gotten into the habit of occasionally buying those hot roasted chickens from the grocery store.  They’re just so darned cheap and handy, not to mention tasty.  Last weekend, the Pie was out of town, and sometimes I forget to actually eat when he’s not around, so I bought the chicken to give me some incentive.  One leg at one meal, one leg at another, and I was set.  But I still had the body of the chicken left to deal with.  I dismantled the remainder of the carcass, including the breasts, and whipped up this quick pasta dish to greet the Pie when he came home.  He went back for seconds so I think I did a good job.

So.  Chicken.  You’ll need about 2 cups shredded chicken.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 2

About 1 cup ranch dressing.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 3

An onion, some garlic, and a head of broccoli.  Chop those up.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 1

Cook 4 slices bacon.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 4

Make them super crispy and then put them somewhere to drain.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 9

Start your pot of boiling water to make your pasta.  You’ll need enough noodles for four.  I used linguini.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 14

Grab a pot and chuck in a few tablespoons olive oil.  Add in the onions and cook until translucent and smelling fabulous.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 5

Then add in the broccoli and garlic and stir that as well.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 6

Next, add in a few pinches dry mustard and pepper and paprika (you’ll see the paprika added in a later photo but that’s because I had to wait for the Pie to pick it up from the store on his way home).

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 7

Pour in about 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup cream, and the 1 cup ranch dressing.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 8

Chuck in the chicken, then cut up the bacon and chuck that in as well.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 10

Stir that to heat things up.  You’re not really going to want to cook this for a long time.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 11

Then add in a few tablespoons pesto.  And some more cream if you want it thicker.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 12

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.  Dump the sauce over top and toss to coat.  Serve immediately, although it’s equally fantastic the next day.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta 15

Spicy Chicken Salad (Sandwich)

Spicy Chicken Salad 14

Now, while nothing can really top my chicken salad that can change your opinions on chicken salad, some other versions come close (especially when I make them).  I had defrosted three chicken thighs with the intention of doing something else with them, and then I didn’t. So I had three pieces of raw chicken in my fridge that needed cooking — and soon.

Spicy Chicken Salad 12

I roasted the thighs (45 minutes at 350°F) the night before with some cajun spices sprinkled over top.

Spicy Chicken Salad 1

Then I dismantled them by removing the bones and chopped them into small pieces.

Spicy Chicken Salad 7

I grabbed a knob of fresh ginger and cut off a bit about the size of a loonie.

Spicy Chicken Salad 2

Peeled it and sliced off paper-thin slices.

Spicy Chicken Salad 3

Which I then minced.

Spicy Chicken Salad 4

Sliced up some green onions.

Spicy Chicken Salad 5

Tossed the ginger and the onions in a bowl with some cajun seasoning, curry powder, cinnamon, and lemon juice.

Spicy Chicken Salad 6

Added the chicken.

Spicy Chicken Salad 8

Then a generous helping of mayonnaise (everyone’s preference for how much is different so I’ll leave that to you) and a vigorous stirring.

Spicy Chicken Salad 9

I decided to put some in a sandwich, so I made a nice cucumber base …

Spicy Chicken Salad 10

… and topped the salad with some chopped tomato and grated cheese left over from a taco night in recent history.  Waste not …

Spicy Chicken Salad 11

It was a GOOD sandwich.  Hit the spot perfectly.

Spicy Chicken Salad 13

Hot and Sour Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 29

This comes from The Foodess and it might be THE BEST THING EVER.  I love hot and sour soup, as does Atlas, so I made this with her in mind and everyone who ate it LOVED it.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 12

Start with with a giant pot and chuck in 2 litres of chicken broth. I like the low-salt stuff. Add 2 cups water to that.

Now slice some stuff up. Take some ginger, a 2″ knob.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 2

Peel that and slice it up.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 3

Grab 2 stalks lemongrass, and peel off the outer bits.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 4

Slice it into 2″ lengths. I also cut mine in half lengthwise, to increase the lemongrass flavour’s exposure to the broth.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 5

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 6

Grab a handful of kaffir lime leaves (about 8-10). You can freeze the other ones for later.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 7

So you’ve got all this stuff.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 8

Chuck all that in the pot with the broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, stuff the lid on and leave it for 30 minutes.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 9

In the meantime, grab yourself some mushrooms. The recipe called for 2 cups whole button mushrooms but I had shiitake on hand, so I cut off the woody stems and sliced them into strips instead.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 10

Slice up a cup of cherry tomatoes as well.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 11

Grab 2 oz dried noodles, any kind. I liked the look of this ditali stuff.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 14

You’re also going to need a cold roasted chicken, like the kind you get at the grocery store. I used to be leery of the fact that they sat out for so long, but then I talked to someone who worked at a grocery store and he said they sold so fast they were always making new ones. And they’re such a time-saver!

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 15

Anyway, take that sucker and pick it apart, shredding the meat with your fingers. You’re going to need 2 cups shredded chicken, so I just did the whole bird and got a little more than that.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 16

Juice 3 limes and set that aside for a minute.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 13

Gather together as well a giant bunch of baby spinach leaves, and chop them coarsely. It’s harder than it looks.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 17

Chop up as well a giant handful of cilantro. I had a brainfart in the grocery store and bought Italian parsley by mistake and had to go back. But they are very similar in appearance. So I chucked in some Italian parsley too.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 1

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 18

While you’re gathering your stuff together, grab some fish sauce and sriracha, and some sea salt.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 21

Use a slotted spoon to remove the ginger, lemongrass, and lime leaves from the broth. You can chuck those bits in the compost now.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 19

Add in the mushrooms, tomatoes, and noodles. Bring those puppies back to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, until the noodles are tender.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 20

Stir in the chicken, 4-6 tablespoons sriracha (I used 2 tablespoons because of the nursing mum, and it was spicy enough), the lime juice, and a few teaspoons fish sauce. Add some salt to taste.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 23

Add in your spinach and cilantro and cook that for a minute or so until everything is bright green. Serve hot, with additional cilantro on top, if desired. Fantastic the next day.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodles Soup 25

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

So I made a roasted chicken to go with our poutine from earlier, and the Pie and I ended up, in the events of that week, forgetting about the leftovers completely.

So let’s make some soup for those busy periods in our lives (which, this term, is pretty much every day).

Pop your carcass and any other bits of chicken you have, skin, bones, everything, in a large pot.  Cover it with 1 litre chicken stock and the rest with water.  Bring that to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let that bubble away for about an hour.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Remove the pot from the heat.  Set a large colander in a larger bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the colander.  This makes getting the wee bits of non-meat out of the broth easy.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Pour the strained broth back into the pot.  Strip the chicken of bits that you want in your soup, and chuck those bits in with the broth.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Chop 1 carrot and 1 onion and add those in.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Add 1 cup rice.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

I was going to add a can of tomatoes to this, but it turned out I didn’t have any (which was kind of a shocker, considering that I normally have about four on hand).  Instead, I had a little over 1 cup pumpkin purée, left from the Pie’s first attempt at pumpkin pie, so I added that in.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Sprinkle on some herbs (I used oregano) and add salt and pepper.  I also added a pinch or two of chipotle seasoning.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Put your pot back on the heat and simmer it for about half an hour, until the rice is cooked and the carrots are tender and everything is hot and yummy.  Taste, and adjust your seasonings if necessary.

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup

Serve hot or freeze for later on.  It’s that simple!

Roasted Chicken and Rice Soup