That Time Betsy Helped Me Cook

May 8, 2013

Sometimes, my pantry can be a bit of a black hole. I have random cans and boxes that have been sitting there for ages and have no real purpose. Most of the time I have a meal plan for the week, but sometimes I forget one critical ingredient or just don’t feel like eating something I’ve planned.

One night in particular I just couldn’t figure out what to make out of all of the ingredients that were staring at me. I decided to enlist the help of my good friend Betsy. She threw out a couple of different options (including one that I turned down because we didn’t have pesto… turns out we did. DOH!) and I eventually went with this one.

Hubby. went. BANANAS. He absolutely loved it! I’m not going to promise it’s the most healthy recipe in the world, but hey, I never said I was a health and fitness blogger, right?

Chicken a la Betsy

4 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thickly sliced (I used canned mushrooms, but… don’t do that)
3 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh basil (or dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano (or dried)
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
5 cups canned crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 pound pasta
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (about 4 1/2 ounces)

Make a slit down 1 side of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Season. Stuff each pocket with mozzarella and a sprinkling of basil and oregano. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes at 375* or until cooked through.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high and sauté mushrooms and onions until tender and brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup chopped basil, oregano, and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add stock; cook until almost absorbed, about 4 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes; cover and simmer over medium heat until thickened, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well; return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat. Add 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 cup basil; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to serving dish. Serve, topping with chicken.

Have you ever played the “what’s in my pantry game” when cooking?
What’s your favorite meal to make?

 



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