Friday, November 2, 2012

Delicious (and Easy!) Chicken Pasta

One day recently I was super upset and I invited my one gal pal over to talk things out over dinner. Of course I had absolutely nothing planned, so I googled "chicken pasta recipe" and this is the fourth recipe that popped up. I made a few alterations, but all-in-all it turned out pretty excellent.

Stuff you should obtain:
16 oz penne
1 package chicken tenderloin
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Notes about ingredients:
I made quite a few alterations to the recipe due to me just being kind of lazy and only skimming the recipe once before running to the store. First, the recipe calls for "2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers", so I just bought .75lb of chicken tenderloin and sliced that smaller. With the amount of pasta you could easily put in more chicken, but the store didn't have any larger packets. Second, I used crushed red pepper instead of pepper flakes - I'm not really sure of the difference. Finally, the recipe also calls for the juice of two lemons, but I didn't feel like doing that so I got a bottle of lemon juice and used Yahoo answers to determine that there are 2.5 Tbsp of juice per lemon. I'm very scientific while cooking.

What you should do:
1) Cook the pasta!
Boil water. Insert pasta. When done, drain water.

2)Prepare oil!
After I had already gone to the store, I realized that the chicken was supposed to be grilled. Considering I am sans grill, I decided to cook the chicken in the oil that the pasta was supposed to be coated in. So, heat the oil with the garlic and red pepper for a few minutes.

3)Cook the chicken!
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken and put it in the oil and cook until no longer pink.

4) Add pasta!
Add the pasta (hopefully you remembered to cook it in step 1) and stir, coating the pasta in the oil and mixing the chicken.

5) Add lemon juice!
Put the pasta and chicken mix into a bowl (or the same pot you cooked the pasta in). Add the lemon juice.

6) Eat!
Put some Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy a very tasty pasta dish!

Leftover Capability:
I believe I had two helpings, as did my friend, and I was able to get at least two lunches out of this meal. Definitely a lot of pasta for leftovers!

But What About My Money?:
Chicken Tenderloin$1.47
Penne Pasta$1.00
Crushed Red Pepper$2.95
Lemon Juice$1.99
Parmesan Cheese$2.64

$10.64 split among four meals comes out to $2.66 - definitely a steal for something this delicious.

Final Grade: A+
The only issues I had with this recipe were implementation issues - I didn't slice the garlic small enough, and I didn't buy enough chicken. The taste was amazing, though, and it's a recipe that is so easy to make. I'd even recommend cooking the chicken in the oil because it turned out so tender. This will definitely become a go-to in the recipe box.