Pasta with Chicken, Tomato and Basil

What I vow to do in this new blog I created:

A) write out recipes from my videos for you to see in text format http://www.youtube.com/classychefstef

B) share behind the scenes fun facts

C) give advice on different ingredients you can use to substitute in case you are missing an ingredient

Let’s start with my most recent video!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hDP0nB-jxE

My mom literally walks around singing my jingle. It gets stuck in my head. Her head. Everyone’s heads. I had the idea for the gags in this video because so many people told me how they can’t get it out of their heads either!  For that, I apologize.

So here’s the thing.  I never measure anything unless, of course, I’m baking.  But for cooking, I taste test, throw stuff in and just go with the flow.  I think everyone needs to start doing that more.  Again, I’ll reiterate, baking IS ALWAYS about being exact.  In cooking you have a lot more creative opportunities.  I will give you a few measurements, but feel free to add an extra chicken breast or two, add less tomatoes and more basil… it’s up to YOU.

You are the chef, have fun and just… go with the freakin’ flow!

-3 Chicken breasts, or if you don’t feel like cutting up chicken because it’s “icky” or you’re feeling lazy, use 1-2 pounds of GROUND CHICKEN. Works the same way, follow the recipe as is, just substitute chicken breasts for ground chicken!

-olive oil, salt and pepper

-a yellow (or red) onion, slice either a half of one or a whole one, up to you!

-basil, FRESH basil makes a huuuuuge difference.  Buy a package or a plant.  You can never have too much basil.

-1-2 cups of tomatoes, dice them up, not too small or they will cook down to nothing leaving you with tomato skins

-package of pasta, or rice or quinoa, whatever floats your boat

Yes, that is me playing piano.  Yes, I made up some silly fanfare.  My 85 year old grandfather is convinced there is no way that’s me playing, since he can clearly see me on the screen without a piano.

“You edited it? Ugh, I can’t keep up with all these confound it electronics.”

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Isn’t he the cutest? You’ll meet him later on when he makes some appearances on the show! And I know what you’re thinking… No I have no African American heritage.  It’s okay, I was confused too until I was probably 7 or 8.  He’s just really, really Sicilian and sits in the sun all day long.  I was not fortunate to inherit the Italian skin, so I avoid the sun, hence my lily whiteness.  Skin cancer is serious, be safe people!

All comedy aside, the tip of the day was supposed to teach you to figure out what your plan of action is before you start anything.  That’s how things like your chicken gets overdone or the pasta turns cold. Cooking is mostly about timing. One of the timing issues I always have, is figuring out when the perfect time is to call everyone to the table. Are they going to come right this second?  Are they going to mosey on down here?  You never know!  I usually end up screaming from the bottom of the stairs, “I’M EATING WHILE IT’S STILL HOT!”

For this specific recipe, put up the pot of water first.  Turn it on high.  Throw salt in your pot.  If you’re using sea salt, use less than you would regular salt, because it tends to be much saltier.  You can always add salt, however you cannot, no matter how hard you try, take it away.

Dice your onions, tomatoes, basil and chicken. Do it in that order. Why?  So you don’t have to clean the cutting board or dirty another one for the chicken…Genius, I know.

Once everything is cut up, put a tablespoon of olive oil in your pan.  Put the onions in and cook them for a minute or two until they become translucent.

Now, put in your chicken and mix it around.  Put your pasta in the (boiling) pot of water.

Cook the chicken on medium heat, mixing it around consistently.  Add the salt and pepper.  Pay attention the entire time.  You never want overcooked chicken, YUCK!  As soon as it seems like the chicken pieces are no longer pink, cut one in half.  If it’s still slightly pink, cook it another minute. Same goes if you’re using ground chicken.  Just make sure it’s cooked fully.

Now add in the tomatoes.  Put your flame on low. Add the basil.  Don’t mix vigorously, just lightly.

If you want the healthy version, take out the pasta, put some olive oil on the pasta, and serve! It should look like this..

Image

If you want the naughty version, use a cup of heavy cream and a tablespoon (or 6) of parmesan cheese.  Mix in with the chicken and let the cream boil for a minute on medium low heat.  It should appear thicker.  Serve on top of pasta, and ladle the sauce over it and it is to die for.

Image

Simple, no?

If you like my videos and recipes, please subscribe to my channel and spread the word!  This is only the beginning, there is SO MUCH to come that I can’t wait to share with you!

http://www.youtube.com/classychefstef

Thanks for reading!

Chef Stef

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