Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vermicelli

Time to indulge a little. Pasta with a creamy, cheesy, lush sauce warms up a cold autumn evening. Add tender chicken breast for a completely satisfying—and very inviting—casual dinner for four.

Note: The sauce may seem “soupy” at first, but it will thicken quickly as the cream cheese melts and the pasta is added to it.

Serves 4

  • 6 oz vermicelli (or angel hair pasta)
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1-1/4 lbs total
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • flour, for dredging (about 1/2 cup)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 6 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese Pieces
  1. Cook the vermicelli in boiling, salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Place the chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly to an even thickness, about 1/3 inch.
Pounded Chicken Breasts
  1. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Spread the flour on a large plate and dredge the chicken in it, shaking off excess. Place the chicken in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden on the bottom, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Turn and cook until golden on the other side and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes longer, depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate.
Chicken Beginning to Cook 
Chicken after Turning
Cooked Chicken
  1. Add the shallot and wine to the pan and cook, scraping up browned bits, 2 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, milk, cream cheese, and parmesan cheese and cook, stirring gently to melt the cheeses, until the sauce is creamy and slightly thick, 6-7 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Shallot and Wine Added to the Pan 
Broth, Milk, and Cheeses Added 
Cooked Sauce
  1. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the cooked chicken to the pasta and sauce and turn several times to coat.
Pasta and Chicken Added
To serve, divide the chicken, pasta, and sauce among 4 plates and garnish with chopped parsley.

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vermicelli

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