Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
I love Buffalo wings…LOVE them! So, here’s the story of how Buffalo chicken came to reside in a creamy pasta dish for dinner.
A Little Background
Like a lot of mothers, mine always told me, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So, when I recently received a review copy of a cookbook at my newspaper job and made a recipe that sounded great…but wasn’t, that’s all I have to say about it (the book that is).
But I will tell you about the recipe. While the recipe name sounded like something I couldn’t help but love, and while Hubs was actually cooking it (yep, sometimes people do cook for me!) for dinner on a recent weekend night...I ended up eating a sandwich for supper.
How Much Garlic?
Before Hubs started making dinner I took a look at the recipe and said, “Woo-ah, that’s wayyyyy too much garlic. Don’t use more than a teaspoon.” The recipe called for a whopping two tablespoons of minced garlic. TWO. Tablespoons. (That's a lot of garlic.) And, on top of that, the garlic wasn’t even sautéd in butter to take off the edge. It was simply heated in some whipping cream. I’m usually a person who follows a recipe exactly the first time I try it, but not in this case.
Hubs is a garlic lover. I am too, but in smaller doses than he likes it, so he took my advice half-way and cut the garlic in half, adding 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the dish.
The dish looked divine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat more than a few bites because of the bitter spice of the garlic. Oh, and you can’t imagine the pungent garlic smell when Hubs heated leftovers for lunch the next day. “Honey, where’s the air freshener? Cough, cough.”
BTW, I'm thinking that amount has to be a typo in the recipe.
Let’s Make the Buffalo Chicken Pasta of Our Dreams
The idea behind the recipe was great: Turn a rotisserie chicken into a delicious Buffalo chicken pasta dish with a creamy sauce. I’d seen other Buffalo chicken pastas with tomato-based sauces, but not with a creamy sauce.
Since I loved the idea, I had to take a shot at coming up with something that was as good as I anticipated the recipe from the book could have been.
And here it is. It’s good, especially if you love Buffalo wings like Hubs and I do. It’s pretty simple. I actually used leftover home-roasted chicken instead of the store-bought.
The sauce is based on my favorite Fettuccine Alfredo recipe from Second Round, Tea-Time at the Masters (which I think may be my “desert island” cookbook, if you know what I mean).
It's tossed with the pasta of your choice along with crumbled blue cheese and a some green onions.
Has it happened to you?
How about you…have you ever tried a recipe that sounded awesome but turned out not good at all? Do you follow recipes to the letter the first time or do you use recipes as a springboard to come up with something inspired by the recipe but uniquely your own? Inquiring minds want to know!
Here’s my take on a really great recipe idea.
Creamy Buffalo Chicken Pasta
8 ounces pasta of your choice
2 tablespoons butter
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ cup half and half
¼ cup red hot sauce, such as Texas Pete’s or Durkee’s
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 scallions, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, until wilted and fragrant. Add the half and half, hot sauce and chicken and simmer until the chicken is heated through. Add the drained pasta and stir into the sauce, simmering for a minute to make sure the pasta is hot. Remove from the heat and stir in the blue cheese and half of the scallions. Serve in pasta bowls and garnish each serving with a little of the remaining scallions.
Makes 4 servings.