Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hi everyone what's for dinner?

You know every time I come to my blog, I sigh and say to myself, okay what am I going to write. LOL

I was never one to talk about myself and tell all, I'm kinda quiet if I don't know you.( Ha, my husband would say)

Anyway I thought about something to write today, what's for dinner?

Today is warm but really windy, so don't want to open doors & windows, so it's actually warmer outside than in. Feel like something warming & easy for dinner. So here goes.

I consider myself a good cook. But I'll admit I like easy. I was always cost conscience of everything and very handy at doing all kinds of things. Oh yeah, I have a husband who is a finicky eater...certain seasonings, probably 2-5 veggies & that's including celery,carrots and onions. LOL parsley & celery are the greenest & probably the only greens, oops I forgot iceberg lettuce(that has hardly any or no nutritional value)

So let's talk CHICKEN.

When whole chickens are on sale, I usually buy quite a 4-6 since if you're going to cook one you may as well cook more. (Plus it's alot cheaper than buying one already cooked)

I clean and season all of them and put in pans & roast. One will be for dinner. The others I let cool while we are eating and when the dishes are done I get to work on the rest.

Now I know your saying as your reading what are you going to do with all those chickens.....first save all that fat & juice in pans for stock to make soup or gravy. Next you can wrap & bag one & freeze whole( aha, another easy dinner for another night & with some sides).

Now here's the real work, (but it goes pretty fast) I pull all the meat off(1/2 chicken at a time) and put in small containers or ziplocs and freeze.(I found over time that 1/2 chicken is usually more than enough to add in a recipe unless your doubling)

There are so many great things you can make with this 1/2 of cut up chicken like:

chicken & rice stirfry
cheesey casserole with chicken(ahhh, I've got a great super easy mix ahead recipe for that)
chicken salad
chicken carbonara (ah, yummy, my favorite) & that's what we're having tonight!

I have seen so many recipes and one is more filling & fattening than the next but this is my version which is still filling but oh so yummy and it really makes alot and tastes even better for tomorrow's lunch(just add a few drops of milk &mix if too dry)

Ok, my version( hmmm, I never really measure anything so I hope this comes out right for you:


tablespoon of olive oil

4 oz pkg pancetta -chopped (dry cured bacon) (usually cheapest in Walmart-Daniele- cryovac pkg)(I always buy a few & freeze as is)

large clove of garlic chopped finely or minced

1 cup milk (can use any type I use 2%)

4 large egg yolks ( tomorrow we'll have egg white omelettes)

3/4 cup grated cheese( parmesian, asiago, romano or mixed)

parsley leaves (if fresh about 1/4 cup) (if dry..about tbsp)

basil (optional - same amt as parsley)

Pinch of salt (I omit cause all the salt in pancetta & cheese)

pound of spaghetti (break in 1/2-mixes better) (I love Barilla Bucatini Rigati- has ridges- holds sauce better )

1/2 roasted chicken (shredded or chopped)

fresh ground black pepper

First put on a pot of water on stove & bring to boil.... while your waiting for that to happen....
Heat the olive in heavy large pan over medium heat, add the pancetta & garlic and saute until brown & crisp( about 6-8 min) . Add the chicken & stir to combine.

In a bowl, whisk together the milk, cheese, yolks, parsley & basil to blend.

IS THE WATER BOILING YET??? IF so add your spaghetti & cook just until tender stirring occasionally (about 10 min)..Drain & put spaghetti back into the pot.

NOW add the pancetta,garlic, chicken mixture to spaghetti over a medium to low heat, Next add the milk mixture & lightly toss untill all heated through & sauce coats the spaghetti(about 4 minutes) DO NOT BOIL or you may end up scambling the eggs.

WHALAAAAA Bonapetit, season to taste with pepper If you like sprinkle some nuts(walnuts,pecans,pine nuts & little lemon zest, more grated cheese,sprinkle of crushed red pepper).

This is pretty filling & makes alot. If you'd like to increase recipe you can use 2 cups of milk,more cheese, 6-8 yolks, whole roasted chicken cut up, 2 lbs spaghetti....other ingredients measurements can stay the same.

Wow, I've got to go & make mine now...I'm hungry

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