Saturday, December 3, 2011

Queso Chicken Pasta

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It's been a while since I've had some time to sit down and blog some recipes.  I have quite a few photos waiting for me so I'll try to get going on some.  Here's the first one and I only took one photo with my cell phone and it was during the evening so not the best looking picture.  It doesn't do the meal justice.  It was very good.  It had a nice creamy sauce and was quite simple to make.  It uses rotisserie chicken so you don't even have to worry about preparing chicken for the dish.  However you can probably use whatever chicken you have.  This would be a great dish to serve to company with a nice side salad or a broccoli casserole.  Don't forget your Frank's Red Hot sauce!  It goes great on this pasta!

Queso Chicken Pasta

8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freeze dried cilantro (or fresh minced)*
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
3 tablespoons cream cheese
2 cups  shredded Colby-jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup drained Ro-Tel Tomatoes
2 cups cooked shredded rotisserie chicken

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a medium casserole dish with cooking spray.  You don't need quite a 9x13 pan, but an 8x8 is too small.  Cook the pasta according to the directions in one pot and drain.  In another medium saucepan melt butter then add onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Saute until softened about 3 minutes.  Add cumin and cilantro and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Add flour and mix well then gradually whisk in milk and stir until smooth.  Bring mixture to a simmer and allow to thicken.  Turn off heat and add cream cheese and 1 cup shredded cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in Ro-Tel.
Dump the drained pasted into the casserole dish and top with chicken and sauce mixture.  Mix with a fork to blend sauce with pasta.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until pasta is bubbly and cheese has melted.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*I found freeze dried Cilantro in SuperTarget.  It's in the refrigerated section in a glass jar.

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