I love to cook and sadly don't really have a lot of time to get in the kitchen and cook up main dishes. My wonderful wife is the main, "hash slinger" in our family and does a great job with our family meals. We try to eat dinner between 5:00-5:30 every night, giving us plenty of time to get our three babies (7, 4, & 3 years old) ready for bed by 7:30-8:00pm. Sitting around our dinner table as a family every night is very important to us and we guard that time and hold it dear to our hearts. Our recent snow and ice events gave me an opportunity to give my wife a much appreciated break from dinner preparations. To my surprise my family loved every singe one of the dinners I prepared--everyone! Naturally I was excited, so I'll be sharing the recipes with you and hoping for your success, too. Trust me, I don't usually have that much luck because our children are picky eaters, but I hit a home run with Chicken and bow ties.
This dish is very comforting and creamy, reminding me of chicken and noodles--only much easier. I would say the star of the show is the creamy cheese sauce. The ingredients are easily kept in your pantry, and usually things most people have on hand. There were no leftovers with this, which is a sure sign of it's success, right? Prep was a snap, I made this in a large skillet and used another pot to boil the pasta, however you could easily make this a one pot meal, using your dutch oven or large stock pot. I'll have the suggestions for that in the notes section at the bottom. Additionally you are free to add and change up the veggies, really the possibilities are endless with what you can do. Let's get started.
- 4 skinned and boned chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 16 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 celery rib, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste (probably about 1 tsp. salt for our taste; and 1T. pepper)
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 (8-ounce) package pasteurized prepared cheese product, cubed
Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil in a large pot. In the meantime get a large skillet up to medium heat. Add pasta to water 8-10 minutes or until tender; drain. Keep warm.
Melt one tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in the skillet; add celery, carrot, and onion, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, add garlic and diced chicken, cooking until the chicken is cooked, should take about 7-8 minutes. Stir in soup, cheese, and cup chicken broth, stirring until cheese is melted. Toss with pasta; garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.
- To make this a one-pot dish. Boil your pasta in a large dutch oven (you can add the chicken, too if you want) until done, then drain and set aside. Using the same pot, add the butter, oil, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender and clear. Add your broth, soup, and cheese, stirring until the cheese melts, then stir in the pasta and chicken.
- The amount of vegetables you could add to this is unending. I would love to add mushrooms and frozen peas next time.
- I'm also thinking that I might cook a few slices of diced bacon to the skillet, set aside then skip the butter and oil, and cook my chicken and veggies in the bacon fat, using the bacon bits as a topping. How good does that sound?
- A side salad would be the only company that this dish needs, we skipped that and just ate garlic bread. The sauce loves to jump on bread! It's really good.