Sunday, April 8, 2012

Penne with Blackened Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce

There's this recipe that I found for Cajun Chicken Alfredo (from Guy Fieri) that I absolutely love and make a lot in my house.  I am now addicted to blackened chicken and the fun thing for me is that I get to break out my cast iron skillet!  I also stumbled across another recipe for a Tomato Basil Cream sauce on Pinterest and I thought - well, what if I sort of combined the two together?  It was genius, I must say.  What a great tasting dish!!  At the end, when you combine the chicken and that blackening spice gets all throughout the pasta, it is heavenly.  Salty and spicy and delicious!  Both dishes that I took inspiration from contain a lot of the same ingredients...sun dried tomatoes, white wine...but with my dish, I get to use sauce from a jar and it makes it super, super simple without losing any of the flavor.  

A tip - watch out for that blackening seasoning!  Make sure you have some sort of ventilation throughout your house (open window, ceiling fan, oven fan) because it always makes the air in my house smoky and spicy and we all end up coughing and sneezing.  :)

If you are using a well-seasoned cast iron skillet to blacken your chicken, you can omit the oil.  If not, just be sure to use a heavy-bottomed skillet and follow the instructions below.  Pound out the chicken breast so they are pretty thin and it will really help to blacken without over cooking.  I actually just took one really big chicken breast and sliced it through the middle so I had two thin pieces.  Also, serve with good don't want to waste a drop of this sauce!   


Serves 4

1/2 pound dried Penne
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
1/2 cup blackening seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 15 oz jar of Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce (Classico is the only brand that I found that makes this)
1/4 cup white wine
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook Penne according to directions.  Meanwhile, heat skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Dredge chicken in blackening seasoning and blacken both sides of chicken, cooking all the way through.  Slice strips on the bias and set aside.  

While the chicken is cooking, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan.  Pour wine into sauce jar, replace cap and shake well.  Add wine mixture into saucepan.  Add tomatoes and basil and cook until heated through.  

Toss with pasta and add the Parmesan cheese.  Top with blackened chicken and serve as is or stir chicken throughout (I recommend doing it this way!).  
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