I got this recipe in a newsletter from Kraft and I fell in love with the whole idea of creamy, cheesy chicken after all the beef we had been having, to top that the picture of the dish was completely yum! It is only when I went through the recipe that I realized it was slightly package-y and I wanted something tad more wholesome. It is not that I don’t like bottled dressings, I do, only if they are not overdone with vinegar and I like them slightly emulsified which the long shelf life ones never are! This recipe called for KRAFT’s Zesty Italian Dressing, I had used that before but only for cold, leafy salads, I decided to make my own chicken seasoning and tweak this recipe with ingredients easier for us to find locally.
Cream Cheese Chicken
300 gms spaghetti, uncooked, I used Penne, because that’s all I had!
1 cup stir-fry vegetables – potatoes, carrot, zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp. Olive oil
½ kg boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 Large tomatoes, diced
1 large capsicum, sliced thin
Seasoning: (to substitute Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine or apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp onion paste
1 tbsp crushed garlic
1 red bell pepper, minced
Coarsely ground pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning (dried basil, dried oregano, dried dill, dried chives, make 2 tsp with all these to substitute)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp red chilli flakes
1/2 box Brittania Cream Cheese Spread
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp milk
Cook the pasta in a large saucepan as directed on package, adding stir-fry vegetables to the boiling water for the last 3 min, this cooks out the veggies a bit without mushing them up. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Mix the seasoning , give it a bit of a whip so it emulsifies like a dressing, add the sliced chicken pieces to this mix and let it stand for few minutes. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken; cook 4-6 mins on high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and capsicum; bring to boil. Simmer on medium heat for 2 mins, stirring occasionally. Add cream cheese spread; cook and stir until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Gently mix in the veggies, fold them in. Take off the fire. Serve portions of pasta, dress with the chicken, garnish with chopped parsley and grated cheese and eat immediately.
We had it with penne pasta because that all we had handy. To be honest this can be had with any pasta. My only problem with restaurant pasta’s is they are always topped with the sauce and some if you don’t want your dish to go cold with all the mixing, you tend to get bites of pasta that are a bit bland. I always season my pasta before dressing it. Put a portion of the pasta in a bowl, dribble a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, then top with the sauce. The other thing you can do if you need to serve this dish at a later time is mix the chicken and the pasta, put in a baking dish, top with grated cheese and bake for 5-7 minutes just before you eat.
Picture Courtesy - KRAFT Foods