Hello my chickpeas! I’ve decide to start this new series where I help you find fun in the kitchen and graduate to Lvl.1 cooks!
I’ve called it Simple Student because these recipes are simple, economic for student life and even if you’re a simpleton – these recipes will surely have you cooking yummy foods for yourself in no time!
👆To start this series off is my go-to recipe for classic comfort that can be made ahead of time, in large batches for the week or in large batches to help you cope for the rest of the week.
We’ve all had some type of chicken alfredo pasta. And I dare not call this recipe that in fear of being lynched by some shook Italians and because of that it’s fondly called Creamy Chicken Pasta. ‘Cos that’s all this recipe literally needs: cream, chicken and pasta. Boom! You’re a chef!🍳
✌Now, I know that looks like a lot. But I have been making this recipe for two years now, so I know what it needs to suit my tastes and what it needs to suit my mommy’s needs.
👌Don’t start out fancy with this. The basic flavours of this dish speak for itself. Once you become comfortable with adding enough salt and pepper – feel free to get creative. I prefer adding some paprika for slight colour and smoke, and dried chilli flakes for spicy-ness!
👉Once browned, remove chicken cubes from the pan. The bottom of the pan will have some brown sticky bits, don’t worry, you haven’t burnt anything. That’s what chefs call fond. It’s browned bits that stick to the pan, typically after browning meat. It adds wonderful flavour without you having done a lot!
👇I added some spinach to mine. Feel free to add whatever you have in the fridge or cupboard. Or whatever you’re craving – except chocolate. I doubt that’ll be a lekker (nice) flavour combo.
All I can say about the spaghetti is: heavily salted water and follow the cooking instructions! Please, please, please!
This recipe is one of my favourites to make for myself when I’m feeling a bit miserable or for my family on a Winter’s day.
CREAMY CHICKEN PASTA
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
2-3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1/2 medium onion
1 clove of garlic or 2 teaspoons of dried garlic
2 cups of cream
1 cup of milk
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons of canola/olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Use tofu instead of chicken
1. Cut chicken breasts into inch-sized cubes
2. Marinate your chicken in the dry spices: salt, pepper and any additional spices. Not the garlic!
3. Make sure that each cube is nicely spiced, and leave in the fridge (warm day) or at room temperature (cold day).
4. Chop your onion into a rough dice, it doesnt have to be super small, bite sized. Put onto a board or o a plate for now.
5. Peel, slice and dice your garlic and other additional veg. Put these all on a board or plate for now.
6. Pour oil into a skillet (pan) and turn on the heat. Medium heat to bring the oil up to temperature.
7. Test to see if the oil is hot by placing the end of a wooden sopon in the oil. If it begins to bubble around the bit in the oil, you’re all good to go!
8. Carefully place your chicken cubes in. Don’t throw them in! Ask for help if this freaks you out, or place them in the pan using a tongs.
9. Let your chicken brown for 2-3 minutes each side. We’re not aiming to fully cook the chicken here yet, if we do, adding it to the pasta and hot creamy sauce will cause it to overcook. We want it to be brown on the outside, pink and raw in the middle. Trust me, it will cook in time!
If you’d like to use stiff veg like broccoli or carrots, now would be a great time to add them. If you use bell peppers, leafy veg or asparagus, add them in later.
10. Onced browned and delicious, remove from the pan.
11. Lower the heat and add in your onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and almost transluscent. Stir every now and then, season with salt and pepper.
12. Pour water into a pot and turn it up onto high heat to bring to a boil. Remeber add lots of salt! More than you think you need 😉
13. Once your water comes to a boil, add in your pasta and set a timer on your phone so you don’t overcook it. Simple psaghetti typically takes 8-10 minutes depending on your brand – so read the packet instructions.
14. Once your pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and drain some of the pasta water. Keep a bit in the pot with the pasta to prevent them from sticking.
15. Add your cream to your onions and garlic mixture. Keep the heat of your stove medium-low. Add your milk too and wait for it to come up to a boil. You’ll start to see a few bubbles in the sauce, don’t be tempted to stir!
16. Season your cream sauce with salt and pepper and any additonal spices.
17. After 2 minutes, stir it gently to prevent if from burning. Add in your chicken, pasta. And a few tablespoons of your pasta water. AND MIX, TOSS AND COAT 😉
Add your vegetables in here if you didn’t in the beginning.
18. It will still look runny and watery, don’t panic, give the chicken a chance to cook in the sauce and the pasta, to suck up those flavours. Put a lid on to help excess moisture evaporate quicker.
19. Once it has thickened, turn off the heat and serve yourself a huge helping!
Let me know in the comments below what your favourite pasta dish is? And don't forget to follow GirlOnTheBus for more fabulous student life stuff!