I have been baking and cooking for quite some years now, and in my time I have come across many different types of cooks, chefs and bakers; all with different levels of experience and different styles of cooking; some very daring in the kitchen and others a little bit tamer. I have noticed that some people have stringent rules in the kitchen, but I for one don’t; I believe in trying different things. Who says that this food or that food can only be eaten with this or that; or cooked in a specific way? Surely as long as your taste buds are satisfied that’s all that matters. Following strict rules in the kitchen takes the fun out of cooking and restricts people to a very machine like routine … *yawns* … the thought alone is making me tired. Don’t get me wrong of course there are some foods that must be cooked in a certain way for the sake of health and safety and to avoid food poisoning. Nevertheless, I think that if you are not brave enough to experiment in the kitchen, then maybe you shouldn’t be in the kitchen at all; leave it to the dare devils.
Now moving on to our delicious recipe of the day; Mouth-wateringly Healthy Creamy Chicken Pasta
As I’m sure you have all noticed; this week is pasta week. The truth is I haven’t had time to prepare much else and pasta is just one of those easy, fast and reliable dishes. You can literally have it with anything, and you really can’t go wrong. In the midst of my busyness, I had a brief chat with a friend of mine; we were talking about, yes, you guessed it, food!! She was telling me how my last recipe “Meatball Pasta”; reminded her of our university days and how I always used to make delicious pasta meals. It brought back fond memories. University was a time when no one had the patience to cook for hours and hours; so a lot of uni students resorted to fast food, or very simple budget meals like beans on toast. I found that pasta was brilliant, and very tasty, it meant that I didn’t have to eat boring food, and I didn’t have to spend money on chicken and chips from the chicken shop next door – although I did treat myself to that every now and then.
Anyway, my point is that, pasta is great, if you are conscious about your weight (that rhymes), then eat brown pasta and throw in some veggies. When I eat good food, it literally makes me dance, and this combination of flavours; the sweet peas, and the spicy garlic chicken is sure to cause a merry dance in your mouth. That being said, today’s recipe is one of my favourites – Creamy Chicken Pasta with a tiny bit of chilli, for that extra kick. Enjoy.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 1 person
To increase the number of portions simply multiply the ingredients by the number you would like to feed i.e. x2 x3 x4
1 chicken thigh, on the bone with the skin on
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground sea salt
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp minced red chilli paste (optional)
½ spring onion, chopped
1 tbsp flour
1 cup of semi skimmed milk
About a handful of peas
1 tsp Vegetable oil
115g of dried pasta, or how much pasta you want to eat
Cut your chicken in small pieces; marinate it with the seasoning; paprika, garlic powder, ground sea salt and 1 tsp of chilli flakes. Leave on the side for the marinade to soak in.
Boil plenty of salted water in a pot, add the pasta and cook it according to the packet instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, gently heat the oil in a frying pan. Tip in the chicken and fry, stirring occasionally, until the chicken pieces are cooked and golden, about 8-10 minutes.
Three minutes before the pasta is cooked, cook your peas in a separate pot with the minimum amount of water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Don’t add salt as this will toughen the peas, to bring out the sweetness of the peas you can add a pinch of sugar (optional). You can also steam the peas if you would prefer.
Now that the pasta and peas are cooked, remove from the heat and drain them.
Mix the minced red chilli flakes paste into the chicken. In a cup mix the flour and milk together, stirring well to remove any lumps. Now pour it onto the chicken and mix in; allowing it to thicken. If it becomes too thick add a bit of milk and stir accordingly. Add your peas to the creamy chicken and mix well for 1 minute.
Serve hot; plate up your pasta and pour your creamy chicken and peas over the top. Garnish with you freshly chopped spring onion and remaining chilli flakes.
Kanta Temba is a cake maker and decorator. She is also the owner and founder of Kanta Kakes – cake shop.
You can find her work on www.kantakakes.com. Follow her on twitter @KantaKakes and Instagram @KantaTemba.