This recipe was inspired by a Lean Cuisine dish my mother in law was eating, Garlic Chicken. While I admire the ease of a microwave meal and am no stranger to the frozen foods section, I still recognize that there is a lot of processing and preservatives involved which we can mitigate by home replication.
Their dish includes chicken, broccoli, asparagus and carrots. Mine has leftover chicken and broccoli; raw mushrooms and snap peas; and roasted red peppers – it’s what I had on hand (with the addition of the jarred red peppers my mother in law was so sweet to run to the store for). I think you could probably do the same – use whatever veggies you have on hand or that your family likes. I used up a bunch of leftovers making this dish and, let me tell you, I love refrigerator velcro.
My recipe does not add any additional salt while cooking, so be prepared to dust a little salt on each serving at the table. The extra pop to the flavors is essential and the overall sodium is reduced by salting to taste on the plate.
My whole house smelled of garlic while preparing this meal and I probably oozed it for days, but it was so delicious, who cares? Besides, if everyone in the house eats it, no one will be able to point fingers at anyone else! Sneaky, sneaky, mommy.
NUTS and BOLTS
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion, Chopped Fine
- 2 Tbsp Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 cup White Wine
- 3 1/4 cups Skim Milk, Divided
- 5 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 5 oz Gouda Cheese, Shredded
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Sweet Paprika
- 4 oz Mushrooms, Sliced Thinly
- 10 oz Cooked Chicken Breast
- 12 oz Steamed Broccoli, Chopped
- 4 oz Snap Peas, Chopped Roughly
- 3 Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Sliced in Thin Strips
WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL
First, whisk together 1/4 cup skim milk and 5 tablespoons of flour in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large stainless pan. Saute’ onions and garlic until lightly browned and de-glaze pan with the white wine. Make sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the remaining 3 cups of milk to the onions and garlic and heat. Stir the milk and flour mixture into the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens. This will take 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 5 ounces of grated or shredded cheese of your choice, whisking until melted. I used smoked gouda because it has a ton of flavor and I happened to have some in my refrigerator. I think parmesan would be wonderful too.
Also, at this time whisk in your garlic powder, pepper and paprika.
Finally, stir in your additions. Because my mushrooms and snap peas were raw, I put them into the sauce to cook for a while (about 15 minutes) before the other ingredients. Once everything is combined, you can simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until you achieve your desired consistency.
Use whatever noodles tickle your fancy. I used spinach linguine this time. It was fabulous! Wheat noodles or rice noodles would be lovely as well. Once cooked, add your noodles to the sauce and cook an additional minute. Turn off the heat and serve a large number of people! This makes a TON of food which translated into yummy leftovers if you are serving a weeknight dinner.
Note: Grated parmesan is an excellent table-side addition!
My eldest is starting to realize that veggies can be tasty when cooked! She loved this dish even though she wrinkled her nose up at the cooked mushroom (before she tried it, anyway). Had 2 portions day 1 and leftovers the next. 5 of 5
I cut everything tiny for the twinkies and they definitely went crazy for it. Monkey 2 kept picking out the broccoli to eat first! They ate 2 servings each with lots of “Mmmm, yummy, Mommy” ‘s and “More, please” ‘s. Made me feel very good! 5 of 5
My husband and I ate this pasta at least once a day for 4 days until it was gone. He says we need to make it again. Thanks honey! 5 of 5