So, as the mother of two boys – one who is acting the fool most of the time, and the other who can’t abide by not seeing Momma at all times – sometimes I just need something quick to cook that is still somewhat nutritious. Like I’ve said, I will always look for a shortcut if I can – I’m lazy as well as busy. And it seems like the hour before dinner is the “Crazy Hour” at our house, Jude thinks that’s time to lose his mind and it’s Bode’s grumpy hour.
When I saw the commercial for a new product, Philadelphia’s Cooking Creme, I thought that looked like a good one, and I decided to try it. Then I decided, what the hell, I will share my results with my fans! (haha.)
So here we go!
I started with 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoning for them (garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt), about a half box of bowtie pasta, and a bag of frozen broccoli, along with the cooking creme. I used the Italian Cheese and Herb variety, though it comes in several flavors. I used the whole grain pasta because it makes me feel less guilty, but you can totally use the regular kind. I won’t judge. You can also use fresh broccoli if you want, but I might secretly think you’re being snotty.
I started by slightly pounding out the chicken, just so it was a more uniform thickness. Not too much, I wasn’t looking to make a cutlet or anything. Then I seasoned them with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Next I seared them on my grill pan – this was totally an unnecessary step, but it did put some nice grill marks on the chicken (and I knew I would be taking pictures – apparently I am vain about my poultry.) Then I melted about 3 tablespoons of butter in a regular skillet on medium high heat and put the seared chicken in that pan.
After getting them nice and browned (about 2-3 minutes each side) I lowered the heat and put a lid on it. This will keep the steam in the pan and keep the breast from drying out. I cooked them for about 5 more minutes, until they weren’t pink inside anymore.
Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, I boiled the bowtie pasta. Quick tip: when there was about 4 minutes left in boiling time for the pasta, I threw in the broccoli. Saved me a dish – which I needed to since I dirtied up the grill pan trying to be fancy. See? It all works itself out.
When the chicken is done, pull it from the pan and let it rest for a couple of minutes so you don’t lose all the juiciness. (And despite leaving cornbread dressing out all day, I DID take a minute to clean and sanitize my cutting board. Smartasses.)
Cut the chicken into thick strips on the bias. This will make some nice chunks for the sauce to adhere to.
Empty the container of creme into the pan that the chicken was cooked in. (Make sure you leave the juice and bits from the chicken – it will add some deliciousness.) When it starts to bubble, add the chicken back in the pan and heat it for a couple of minutes.
Serve the chicken and sauce over the pasta with broccoli. My original intention was to mix it all together in the skillet, but I was afraid the skillet wasn’t big enough. But if you have a big skillet, I say go for it! That way all the sauce is equally distributed.
Okay, I’ll admit that I got a little fancy at the end again and put some grated parmesan cheese on top. Don’t hold it against me – believe me, it won’t last.
Now, to the review.
I will say I was very pleased with this product, and I would recommend it to anyone. It was super easy – this “recipe” took maybe one more step than Hamburger Helper, but it was very tasty and had very natural flavors – it wasn’t “fakey” or chemical-ly at all, which I liked. It had a cream cheese type tang to it and the herbs and cheese were subtle but definitely present. We ate almost all of it – well, except for Jude. He took one bite and said he was done. I was kind of concerned since it was all of his favorite things: pasta, broccoli, chicken, cheese….but then he announced that he didn’t like regular food anymore, and he only liked candy and that’s what he’d like from now on. So there ya go.
I am looking forward to trying the other flavors and experimenting.