Dad and Jake are here all safe and sound. We had a great day but they are both, to use a British word, knackered. I took them to Parliament today and they got a tour and got to sit in the gallery and watch the Prime Minister give a statement on Japan and Libya. They both seemed to have a good time and then we headed home and had dinner then they went to bed and are both snoring peacefully. And loudly.
I love nothing more than having people here and getting to cook them lots of food. I made them compost cookies and a bunch of granola bars for them to take on their travels this week. I also thought that a family dinner was in order tonight and made one of my new faves. Dad loved it and I promised him the recipe. So I thought I would share it with all of you as well.
Spinach and Aritchoke Chicken from Rachel Ray
- 1 pound penne rigate or whole wheat or whole grain penne rigate
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 2 small pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 to 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Black pepper
- 2 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup cream or whole milk
- A few grates of nutmeg
- 1 cup grated Asiago or provolone cheese
- 1 10-ounce box chopped frozen spinach, defrosted, wrung dry and separated
- 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained well and chopped
- Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
Meanwhile, poach chicken. Place chicken in small pan and add water to top of meat but do not cover completely. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil, reduce heat and gently simmer to cook through 10-12 minutes. Shred meat into small pieces with forks or dice into small pieces.
While chicken cooks heat EVOO in large, deep sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter into oil and add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over cooked onions and garlic and stir 1 minute then whisk in white wine. Add stock and stir 1 minute then stir in cream and season with nutmeg. Thicken sauce a couple of minutes over low heat then stir in spinach and artichokes and heat through, melt Asiago or provolone cheese into sauce and turn off heat.
Drain pasta and toss with sauce and chicken to combine, adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
(I served this over rice instead of pasta but I think pasta would be good as well!)