Caroline's StoryI was just in the mood to explore something different for dinner and this is what I came up with. My family went crazy over this dish.
boneless chicken breast (about 6 large pieces)
penne rigate pasta
broccoli florets, frozen
canned diced tomatoes
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided
fresh firm tomatoes
small fresh button mushrooms
dry basil ( or 1/3 cup fresh)
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
french's fried onions to taste
1First slice, dice, clean and prep ALL ingredients as directed below.
2Cut chicken breasts into strips by cutting across (short way) each breast. Cut about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick strips. Set aside.
3Place frozen broccoli florets in a colander and rinse with cool water and let drain. Set aside.
4Wash, then slice bell peppers in half (long way from top to bottom) clean out seeds and slice into 1/4 wide long strips. Set aside.
5Crush and mince garlic. Put into small bowl.
6Slice and mince onion. Add to garlic in bowl.
7Measure dry basil or finely chop fresh basil. Add to garlic and onion in bowl.
8Clean and prep mushrooms. Leave whole if 1 inch or less and cut in half if larger, but you want pieces to be around the size of a quarter at least.
9Wash and slice fresh tomatoes into wedges by slicing from top to bottom in half, then slice each half into 4 wedges. (You should have 24 wedges from 3 medium tomatoes.)
10NEXT STEPS TO COOK
11Place on stove, one large pot of water to cover chicken seasoned with salt and bring to boil.
Add chicken strips, boil about 15 minutes and drain.
12Place on stove, second large pot of water for pasta seasoned with salt. Heat to a boil.
Add penne pasta and cook to aldente stage.
Add broccoli florets and bring back to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat and drain pasta and broccoli in a large colander. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl. Slice one stick of margerine into pasta mix and add 1 + 1/2 lbs (24oz.) of shredded mozzerella cheese and toss gently to mix.
13Place on stove one very large skillet with olive oil and heat.
Add sliced peppers and cook for about 1 minute.
Add garlic and onions and basil and cook for about 3 minutes.
Add mushrooms, be sure to stir and coat all ingredients with mixture and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add whole can of diced tomatoes (juice and all) and simmer cook for about 5 minutes.
14Add cooked chicken strips to tomato mixture and stir to mix.
Season with salt and cracked black pepper.
Cook about 2-3 minutes more.
Stiring this mixture to coat as you go is important.
15Next pour skillet contents over pasta/cheese mix, and toss gently to mix.
16Pour into a large baking dish or several smaller ones coated with cooking spray.
17Top with tomato wedges.
18Use salt and cracked black pepper over wedges.
19Sprinkle rest of shredded cheese over wedges.
20Sprinkle with French fried onions to top.
21Place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until it begins to bubble.
Makes 8 to 10 good sized servings. `
22Just add warm french bread or a side salad if desired, to complete this one dish meal.