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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Penne Pasta with Sauteed Chicken and Chorizo

This recipe is the result of the classic dilemma of all Moms, "What am I going to cook for dinner?"  Sometimes the answer comes to you quickly and other times you look in the freezer, fridge and pantry and not one idea comes to mind!  Another trip to the store? Really?  Not this time. Today I would improvise!

Upon freezer inspection I found a package of boneless and skinless chicken breast. That was a good start.  But what else?  Next I found a half pound of chorizo sausage. Hmm.  Chicken...chorizo and...pasta!  Right under the chorizo was a bag of frozen spinach, and there it was... dinner!

Mystery dinners are so much fun to make. It's kind of like a real life version of the show Chopped.  Pull all of these ingredients together and make something awesome out of them.  Surprisingly, this meal came together so easily I will surely make it again soon. I even got the "thumbs up" from the picky eater in the family, and she even asked for seconds!  THAT is the true sign of dinner success!

1 TB  Olive Oil
1-1/4 lb  Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Medium Onion, chopped
1/2 lb  Portuguese Chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (you could also substitute a Mexican or Spanish variety)
1/2 cup  White Wine
1 tsp  Dried Thyme
1 cup  Half and Half
1 1/2 cups  Milk
1 cup  Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 cups  Cooked Chopped Spinach
13.25 oz box  Regular or Whole Wheat Penne Rigate

Boil the pasta according to package directions, cooking until al dente.  This can be done while the other ingredients are cooking, that way the pasta does not sit too long.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces and the onion and brown 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chopped chorizo to the pan with the chicken, reduce heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes longer, until the chicken is cooked thru.

Add the wine and thyme to the skillet and stir well.  When the wine has reduced down, add the spinach, half and half and milk to the pan, stirring to combine.  Next add the Parmesan cheese and stir.  If the sauce is a little thin, add another 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir.

When the sauce is warm and the cheese has melted, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the chicken mixture.  Stir to combine and evenly coat all of the pasta.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and a glass of chardonnay.  Makes about 6 - 8 servings.  Enjoy!


  1. Looks delicious! Sometimes the best meals are made from throwing together things you have on hand.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and your definitely right about it being hard to find apple butter in the store, at least anything I would consider "good."

  2. Hi Annie, thanks for visiting. I used to buy apple butter in Nashville, Indiana and it was Sooo good. The store brands just don't measure up.

  3. Most of my meals are from what's left over in the pantry and I agree that more often than not, they make the best meals and this is no exception. :)


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