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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Greek Chicken and Pasta

Because I work a 40 hour a week job OUTSIDE my home, I don't like to spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the week.  Call me crazy, but I like to relax after work and after the chores are done.  I LOVE to cook, and I like to think I"m a pretty good cook.  But I take a lot of shortcuts during the week for our meals.  I drag out the Paula Deen and Pioneer Woman cookbooks on the weekends!  So the chicken I used in this recipe is pre-cooked packaged chicken you can find at the grocery store.  It saved a little bit of time. 

Greek Chicken and Pasta

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 can chicken broth
1 cup crumbled feta cheese OR shredded Havarti cheese.  (I like the Havarti better)
3 cups chopped chicken
1 six oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives ( I just used black olives.  Any variety will work, so pick your favorite.)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (dried if you don't have it. Saves another step of chopping)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 quart glass baking dish with cooking spray.  Cook and drain pasta according to directions on package.  Meanwhile, in 3 quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in flour; cook and stir for 30 seconds.  Slowly stir in broth; heat to boiling.  Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese.  Gently stir in cooked pasta, chicken, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives and parsley.  Spoon into baking dish.  Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until hot.  Garnish with additional fresh parsley if desired.

I serve this with warm, crusty French bread, courtesy of Pillsbury!  It bakes at the same time as the casserole, so there's no extra waiting on the bread.

Carpe' diem!

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