Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chicken and Pasta with an Herb Tomato Sauce for 2 People

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As Sonny said to Cher...  And the beat goes on....

I bought a chicken.

You know the ones, Rotisserie Chicken, store bought, pre-cooked, pre-seasoned and always moist tender and delicious.  They are in just about every grocery store and those big box warehouse stores.  Me, I buy mine from Sam's Club, guaranteed 3 pounds and always cooked just right.

So, my series... What can I make with a single bird.  I have already made a ...

Breakfast, Cheesy Chicken Monkey Bread for Two People, click the blue letters or the photo to see the recipe blog post.  FANTASTIC, sort of a French toast, savory bread pudding loaded with cheese, chicken, onion and spices.  Made with just the meat from a single Chicken thigh.

I also made fancy sandwich that dressed up a bowl of left over soup...

The Chicken Salad Roll up for Two People happens to be my wife's favorite sandwich.  Made easy with a can of store bought refrigerator biscuits   Creamy cream cheese is the glue that holds more onions, chicken, mushrooms and seasonings.  Made with the meat from the other single chicken thigh.

Needing a main course I came up with a FANTASTIC Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese for Two People.  If you are a fan of those famous bar snack chicken wings you will love this dressed up version.  Tabasco sauce is used to spice up the chicken.  There is even some blue cheese added to copy the dipping sauce.

Made easy with just a single breast from the beloved bird!

And in yesterday's post I rounded out the meals by posting a lunch recipe. Just about the easiest, fastest lunch recipe you could imagine.  But even better, the recipe for FAST FOOD Smashed Potato and Chicken for 2 People comes in at an affordable $1 a serving. My own version of fast food dollar menu.

And this satisfying delicious cheap  inexpensive meal is made from the meat from both chicken legs.

So, a breakfast, a lunch, sandwich and a main course... Still plenty of meat left... well, not really.  If you add it all up, I have one breast left and a couple of chicken wings (come back tomorrow to see what I do with the wings).

So today... another main course using the meat from a single rotisserie chicken breast...

Chicken and Pasta with an herb Tomato Sauce

OK, Here's what I did...

This is a dish you can make as complicated as you like... Or as easy as you like.

Sauce from a jar.  If you watch the sales you can easily find a jar of ready made store bought sauce for a bargain $1 a jar.  I used the equivalent of an entire jar for this dish, about 2 Cups

Or, you can make your own using canned tomatoes in the fall, winter and spring or fresh tomatoes in the summer.  I have already posted a wonderful (and easy) recipe for fresh made Herbed Tomato Sauce for Pasta (made even easier with the use of a Crock Pot slow cooker).

Dried pasta from a box... Same thing can be said... As easy or as complicated.  Me, I have gotten into the habit of making fresh pasta.  If you are after cheap, it simply uses eggs and pantry supplies (flour and salt).  So an on sale box of past ($1) or fresh made (free, using pantry supplies), both work just as well for this recipe.  I used the equivalent  of a half a box (half a pound) of pasta for two people.

And finally, the meat from a single breast from a rotisserie chicken.  One breast sliced and diced to large pieces is enough for two people.

I did use a couple of Basil leaves to slice for garnish just to make the photo pretty.  Also I garnished with some fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.  For the photo and to add a little nutty savory salty taste.

OK... Here's a few tips to insure that you have a successful dish...

Remove the breast from the bones (be sure to save the bones, we'll be making stock in a couple of days).  Slice big.  You do not want the chicken to fall apart as you stir.

Heat the sauce and the chicken together before adding the cooked pasta.  This way everything will be hot when you serve.

Cook the pasta al dente.  which means slightly undercooked.  If you are using a box, read the instructions and cook one minute less than suggested.

As to seasonings, you are fine.  the chicken comes pre-seasoned with plenty of salt and pepper.  The sauce will come seasoned.  SO no need to add more.

Once the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and quickly add to the sauce.  You want the pasta wet from the starchy water when you add to the sauce.  This tiny extra bit of starch helps the sauce to stick to the pasta.  By adding slightly undercooked pasta (al dente) to the sauce it allows the sauce to be absorbed into the pasta.  A great pasta holds the sauce.  if the pasta is overcooked the sauce just pools. Take another look at the first few photos.  Notice there is no pooling, just sauce clinging to the pasta...   YUM!

As to cost....

Well, I have been figuring the cost of the chicken at $1.00 per dish.  The entire chicken only cost $4.88 (round up to $5).  this is the fifth recipe I have made from the single bird, so that may mean free chicken for the next two posts!.

As to the rest of the ingredients, I am tempted to claim pasta as pantry items.  If I always have the ingredients around to make fresh.  But for the sake of ease, let's make the half box cost $0.50 and the jar of sauce is (always on sale), $1 a jar.

And I do love the extra optional cheese... REAL Cheese, never the dust.  SO I am adding another $0.50

Total cost of a main course for 2 people... $3.00
Cost per serving just a dollar fifty.

Now that's a great value!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this... Cheesy, meaty and deliciously topped with whatever salad dressing you like best!

As to the challenge... we are almost out of meat, but I still have the chicken wings for yet one more meal.  And the bones for stock.

Very easy, DELICIOUS and ... certainly fits well with my goals.

Stay tuned, come on back tomorrow and see what else I make from the single bird!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Uses For a Rotisserie Chicken"  (Now close to 100!)...I am so confused... $5.49 for a fully cooked, fully seasoned Oven Roasted, Rotisserie Chicken. Yet shop in the raw meat department and most raw chickens are at best $8 each and usually far closer to $10. Anyone have an answer??? Me either. So, I can either rail against the machine, or learn to embrace the beauty that is the $5 chicken! In this pin are recipes I have made, and recommend. MORE than 52 (I just can't stop)..
You get the idea.  From Scratch Pizza to Chinese Take Out recipes, Lots of Soups and Chili... Appetizers to Main Courses (Still can't find a dessert, but I am looking).  More than enough ideas for that store nought bird to shine with just a little extra work


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