Easy Chicken Pasta

*Originally posted in June 2018 on previous blog.

This recipe is one of those where I just used a lot of what I already had in my kitchen. What makes it awesome is that you can just add or subtract whatever you might need. I had some banana peppers in the garden that were in desperate need of picking. Some basil too. I went to the cabinets, fridge, and spices and came up with an easy to throw together dinner. I used dried onion in place of a fresh one, penne pasta because I already had a box, and I shredded a little from a block of sharp cheddar cheese because that's what I had available! Of course the ingredients are just a suggestion and you can adjust for more people or to your taste because remember, I just used what I already had on-hand.

What You Need

10 chicken drumsticks (or chicken thighs or chicken breast)
8 oz of penne pasta (or elbows, bowties, or shells), basically half the 16 oz package
1.5 cups of spaghetti sauce
4 cloves of garlic, chopped 
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
4-5 fresh banana peppers, chopped
1/4 cup of dried onion (or 1 small onion, chopped)
1 cup of milk
1 tbls flour
2 tbls of olive oil
2 tbls of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cup of shredded cheese (Parmesan, cheddar, montery jack, or whatever cheese you like) 

How To Make It

Boil chicken in a stock pot for 30-40 minutes, or until done. Set aside to cool. **I used chicken legs because when I bought them they were on sale. You can usually get legs and thighs or leg/thigh combos on sale pretty often. We like dark meat, but you could easily use boneless, skinless breast or even one of those pre-made rotisserie style chickens from the grocery store. 

While waiting for the chicken, chop your garlic, basil, and banana peppers. Onion too, if using fresh. I like to slice my pepper down the middle then use a spoon to remove seeds before chopping.

Melt butter and heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add peppers, garlic, and onions. Stir occasionally until tender.

Get that pasta water boiling. Then go ahead and begin taking the chicken meat off the bone. I toss out the skin and bones, gently breaking up the chunks of chicken with a fork.

Once the peppers and garlic are ready, stir in flour and gradually add in the milk and salt, bringing to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the spaghetti sauce and reduce to a simmer. Add pasta to the boiling water. Simmer the sauce for the same time as it takes for the pasta to cook.

Drain pasta, add to sauce, and mix together. Throw in the fresh basil and give a good stir. Sprinkle on your choice of shredded cheese and enjoy!

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