Chicken Fajita Pasta — Five Stars

It’s interview season for me, and as a result, I’m constantly meeting people and trying to come up with interesting things to say about myself. I usually like to talk about the various nonprofit organizations to which I donate time, because if I’m not volunteering somewhere with something, I’m an unhappy person. Here’s a conversation from a recent corporate dinner I attended. Also at the table were the head HR lady for the company, another candidate, one of the company’s most senior execs, and an employee in the position for which I was applying.

Senior Exec: What do you do for fun?
Me: I volunteer a lot.  I’m a member of the Board of Trustees for the Telluride Association, I’m helping a friend start a non-profit to increase access to health care, and when I can I teach with Junior Achievement.
Regular Employee: AND, she’s a baker-blogger
Me: [with shocked look on my face] Uhhh…..
Regular Employee: Yeah, I read your blog.  Tell me about your #1 Pancakes.

It was an interesting, and fun, dinner.  So, to friends, family, and apparently recruiters, welcome to my cooking blog.

And, with that long introduction, I’ll finally get to the recipe.  I had a bunch of girls over for dinner to discuss the trials and tribulations of business school.  Even though it’s been weeks since the dinner party, any time I mention “eating” or “cooking,” one of the guests responds, “You can make some great chicken.”

The recipe is fairly straightforward, although a little time consuming.  You could make your own fajita seasoning — it’d probably be healthier — but if you’re short on time like I was, just use the McCormick’s fajita seasoning packet.  The sauce is somewhat rich, so serve with a thick pasta — like linguine, or even bowtie pasta.  I used whole wheat pasta because that’s all I ever buy, but note that since the sauce isn’t too heavy (like an alfredo), the taste of the pasta shines through.

I did find the original recipe on another blog, but after making this 3 times, I don’t think it’s really the same recipe any more.

Ingredients

1 packet fajita seasoning (this is 4-5 Tbsp of seasoning)
2 Tbsp oil
1 lb chicken breasts, cubed (2x-3x the size of the bell peppers and onions)
2 Tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium (red) onion, cubed (same sized cubes as bell peppers)
3 small bell peppers, cubed (I used yellow, orange, and red)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, coat the chicken with half of the spice mixture.  Let sit in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the cut chicken.  Cook until done, about 7 minutes.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  5. In a large pot, start boiling water for the pasta.
  6. Add 2 more Tbsp of oil to the pan
  7. Sautee the garlic and onions.  When the onions are translucent, add in the bell peppers.  Add 1/2 of the remaining spice mixture to the pan.  Cook 3-5 minutes, or until bell peppers are soft.  Remove everything from the pan (Setting the mixture on top of the chicken is fine).
  8. The pasta water is probably boiling by now.  When it boils, pour in the pasta and cook for the appropriate length of time.  Drain the pasta and transfer to large serving dish when done.
  9. Pour the chicken broth into the pan.  Scrape up the bits of chicken and garlic and such left in the pan.  Bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low or medium-low.
  10. Mix the last of the spice mixture with the cream, and slowly pour in the cream while stirring.  Let this simmer for 2 minutes.  Add the cooked chicken, garlic, onion, and peppers back into the pan.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  11. Pour the cream mixture over the pasta.  Mix so the sauce and chicken and all the other goodness is evenly distributed.
  12. Admire your handiwork.
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