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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Baked Chicken, Mushroom & Roasted Garlic Pasta

Serves 6  |  Medium
This is a gooey, oozing, cheese stretching, flavour-packed, ultimate comfort dish that everyone will love! Mmmm, I get hungry just thinking of it! Whenever I prepare this pasta dish my kids almost have a celebration! My guests shower me with compliments and my hubbs says "I love you" afterwards Everytime!!! What more can any dish do for a cook?!

I use the French classic Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe in preparing this dish. I find that the favours combine so well. That chicken preperation makes all the diffrence to the flavour round up... It is a bit more work, but worth the extra effort. If you cook the chicken recipe a day before then you can use its leftovers to prepare the pasta. If you are in a hurry and don't have enough time to prepare the chicken that way, then any roasted chicken recipe will do. Try DK Best Loved Grilled Chicken for a less fussy option. 

You Need
2 whole roasted chicken with 40 cloves garlic, pull the chicken away from the bones in big chunky pieces and set aside. Reserve pan juices, and garlic seperately on the side.
1 packet pasta*
200g Fresh mushrooms, cleaned & quartered
100g Mozzarella cheese, grated
a handful Grated Parmesan Cheese
a Pinch of Oregano
2 cloves roasted garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Black Pepper to taste

*you can use brown pasta if you like as it is full of fiber, which is very healthy for your digestive system, or any other type of pasta you like. I usually choose a pasta that has cavities as they hold the sauce in them, like jumbo shell pasta, jumbo elbow pasta, penne pasta.... You can also use fetuccine or Spaghetti pasta.. For instruction on how to prepare the pasta check out Pasta: All there is to Know.

For Cheese Sauce
You Need
2tbsp butter
2tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pan juices from roasted chicken
Salt & Pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic from the ones previously roasted with the chicken. if you did not use that recipe, then just roast some garlic cloves, or use fresh ones
50g grated Mozarella Cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook Pasta, drain and set aside.

In a large pot cook 2 crushed cloves of roasted garlic and quartered mushrooms in olive oil but do not brown. Remove from heat. Add prepared pasta to garlic &mushrooms, mix all. Add the pulled Chicken pieces and toss gently so not to break chicken pieces. Prepare Cheese Sauce;

To Prepare the Cheese Sauce
Make a Roux: Melt butter in a saucepan; making sure it is all melted before adding the flour. Stir in flour, salt & pepper. Cook & stir over low heat until well combined. Once fat & flour are combined without lumps, slowly add all the milk & 1/2 cup pan juices in a thin continuous stream constantly stirring to evenly blend the roux & milk.

Cook & stir the mix over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbling across the entire surface. Add crushed roasted garlic to mix and stir to combine. Cook stirring for 1 more minute to completely combine and cook the flour through. Add cheeses and stir till melted and combined.
Pour Cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and stir all to combine.

Place some grated mozzarella cheese on the bottom of a deep baking dish. Top with prepared pasta n cheese sauce. Spread all in an even layer. Top with the remaining grated Mozarella cheese & Parmesan Cheese to cover all. Season with black pepper & oregano. Bake in 350 F oven till cheese is melted & golden brown.

Serve warm ;)

Have you ever tried using leftover meats in making a pasta dish? How did it turn out? I love making new dishes with leftovers, this way it doesn't feel like I am repeating the same food and it is a chance to be creative! What do you do with your leftovers? Would love to hear your thoughts on this, so do let me know, leave me a comment :)