Chicken, Artichokes and Mushrooms

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I’ve recently discovered that I really like artichokes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a fan of spinach and artichoke dip, but that’s so cheesy and creamy that it would be hard not to be a fan. A few months ago I had a delicious pasta that had artichokes in it and I could actually pick out and appreciate the flavor of the artichokes. Then, just before he left for China, Jesse ordered an artichoke appetizer and I loved it. Finally I decided it was time for me to try using artichokes in my own kitchen. I searched online and when I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats I was inspired. I used the recipe on her blog as a base and adjusted the sauce because I was envisioning a dijon cream sauce that I could serve over egg noodles. The end result was rich, nutty, slightly tangy and overall delicious. I can’t wait for Jesse to come home so I can make it for him!

Chicken, Artichokes, and Mushrooms in a Dijon Cream Sauce
(Adapted from Annie’s Eats)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp rosemary (basically a small pinch, it’s hard to measure rosemary)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 (14 oz.) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (in water, not oil)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Minced fresh parsley, for serving (or dry if you don’t have fresh on hand)

In a shallow dish, combine the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper and stir with a fork to blend. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. Place the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and toss until they are evenly coated.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a plate; cover and keep warm.

Add the butter to the pan and warm until melted. Add the mushrooms and artichokes to the pan and cook until most of the liquid is released from the mushrooms and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the white wine, chicken broth, dijon mustard and reserved tablespoon of flour; whisk until smooth. Add the mixture to the skillet, cooking until it is warm and slightly thickened, then stir in the half&half and Parmesan cheese. Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and cover with sauce. Serve the chicken and sauce over egg noodles and garnish with parsley.

Southwest Pasta Salad

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

This is a recipe that has been talked about a lot on the cooking message board that I frequent. I knew the first time that I heard about it that I would love it, but for one reason or another I kept putting it off. Last week I finally had some fresh tomatoes from the garden (not big juicy red ones but little yellow pear ones) so I decided it was finally time to make this pasta salad. This is definitely a great way to use up some of the tomatoes that most gardens are growing (I’m still in mourning over my tomato plants which have been obliterated by the deer, thank goodness one survived!) I really enjoyed it!

As for changes I only made a few and mostly because I was using what I had on hand. I didn’t have red tomatoes so I cut the yellow pear tomatoes into quarters and used those. I also subbed flat leaf parsley for cilantro because the store didn’t have any and I am growing my own parsley and I omitted the avocado because I’m not a huge fan (though if I were making it for a crowd I would probably use it) Finally, I cut the recipe in half and in doing so I think I screwed up the “sauce” measurements because mine was a little on the dry side. If that happens I recommend just mixing a little more salsa and olive oil together and tossing it in. I also want to mention that this recipe would be perfect for a summer cookout because it does not call for any mayonnaise so it would be OK to sit out.


Cara’s Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad
(Source: Cara’s Cravings)

Ingredients

1lb wagon wheel pasta
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10oz package frozen corn
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced – I used yellow pear tomatoes cut into quarters
8oz shredded Mexican-blend cheese
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tbsp lime juice – fresh is a must!
1 tbsp cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder – I went on the heavier side of the chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground salt & pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro – flat leaf parsley can be subbed if you don’t have fresh cilantro on hand
1 avocado, diced

Directions

Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.

The best mac and cheese you’ll ever put in your mouth….

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Was that title too long? 🙂 LOL. In all seriousness, this is really the best mac and cheese I have ever had. I found it on one of my all time favorite blogs Pioneer Woman Cooks. I’ll admit, I’m in love with Ree. Her blog is full of witty commentary and informative cooking entries, plus she has the cutest family ever. If you haven’t had the pleasure of viewing her blog before please go check it out, you’ll be hooked!

PW’s Spicy Mac and Cheese
(source: Pioneer Woman Cooks, my changes are noted in bold)

Ingredients
4 cups cooked macaroni or cavatappi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 finely diced red onion
Equal amount diced red bell pepper
1 finely diced jalapeno
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup half and half
1 generous cup grated Pepperjack cheese (I sometimes use half pepperjack and half mild cheddar)
2 Tbsp butter
Salt
Pepper

Directions

Boil pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, add olive oil and saute garlic and vegetables over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add in canned chilies and stir around, then turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it to skillet. Pour on cream, add cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. At the end, add 2 tablespoons butter and stir again. Check seasonings and serve.

Mmm, mmm, Marsala

** This post was imported as a part of my top 30 from my old blog – What’s Cooking in the Orange Kitchen**

Chicken Marsala has been one of my favorite recipes since I was a kid. I can even remember the first time my Mom made it. The power went out right as it was finishing so we had to eat by candle light. Which is probably why I ate the mushrooms, haha. Anyway, I’m not sure if this is a “traditional” chicken marsala recipe but I always enjoy it and I hope you do too!

Chicken Marsala
(Source: It’s a Darne Good Cookbook, with lots of adaptions by me)

Ingredients

4-6 thin chicken breast pounded out to 1/8 inch thickness
1/2 cup flour
1/3-1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
1-2 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 box angel hair pasta

Directions
Dredge the chicken in flour. Place 2 chicken breasts at a time in the skillet with 2 tablespoons melted butter (add more with each addition if needed) in skillet. Cook over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. As each one is done place it in a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat until all chicken is cooked.

Adding more butter if needed, saute mushrooms and garlic in the same skillet. When the mushrooms are done use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms and place them on top of the chicken.

Use the marsala wine to deglaze the pan then stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the temperature. Spoon 1/2 of the sauce over the chicken. Top the chicken with cheese and bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

While the chicken is baking prepare angel hair noodles. When the noodles are done drain the water and dump the noodles into the pan with remaining sauce.

Serve chicken and mushrooms over top of angel hair pasta.

**Recipe note** If you are concerned with the amount of butter in this recipe you can substitute olive oil for half of the butter. Some butter is required to give it a rich flavor but it is perfectly okay to use half butter and half olive oil.