Tonight I made Deja Vu Chicken Pasta. That's just a fancy way of saying we ate chicken again. But I thought deja vu sounded better than leftover. Yesterday, we had a BBQ for our employees. I grilled so much chicken! You would've thought I had 100 people coming over. I get carried away. I'd rather have too much than not enough so I tend to go overboard when cooking for a party. Everyone ate till they were full, I sent some home with my guests and I still have a fridge full of left over grilled chicken. So, like I said, tonight I made Deja Vu Chicken Pasta. This recipe will work with any left over meat, beef, turkey, shrimp, etc. Here's how easy it is to make:
DEJA VU PASTA
2 left over grilled chicken breasts
2 TBS canola oil
1 TBS butter (not necessary, but gives it good flavor)
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 bell pepper, diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 lb. pasta (I used rotini)
2 TBS chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Put a big pot of water on to boil the pasta. While you wait for it to boil, dice the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Then, cut the left over chicken into bite-size pieces. Once the pasta water is boiling, salt it well then add the pasta. Boil until al dente (still has a little bite to it).
Place a big skillet over medium heat and add the oil and butter. Saute the onion and bell pepper for a few minutes then add the garlic (you add it later so it doesn't burn).
Saute for a minute or two. Add the chicken and saute 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the chicken broth. Let it simmer until the pasta is done (or about 10 minutes).
Before you drain the pasta, save a little of the pasta water (I dip a coffee cup in and scoop some out). You may need this later. Add the drained pasta to the skillet. Stir well. If your pasta is too dry, you can add a little of the reserved pasta water to loosen it up. Taste it and see if it needs more salt and/or pepper. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
This is a quick, yummy way to use up left overs. I have made this with chicken, turkey, shrimp and crawfish. It is always good and I love how easy it is. I always have these ingredients on hand so it's easy to throw together at the last minute. Of course, you can use any pasta you have, any broth you have (even water in a pinch), and any herb you have. You can make it vegetarian by using eggplant or zucchini instead of meat and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. That's what's so great about this dish, it's versatility. Give it a try the next time you have left overs you need to use up.