6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces frozen spinach
2 pounds rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
16 ounces half and half
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup Italian cheese blend
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, shredded or shaved
1. Heat grill and set for direct grilling. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Season chicken with garlic salt and black pepper. Grill 3 to 4 minutes a side or until chicken is cooked through.
3. Place spinach into large sieve. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than directed by package directions, drain over spinach.
4. Heat oven to 350*F.
5. Add butter and olive oil to large saucepan or Dutch oven and melt over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir to combine. Cook one minute, stirring, until smooth.
6. Slowly add half and half to pan, stirring constantly until mixture begins to boil. Add milk, salt, garlic, white pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg to pan, stirring constantly. Return to boil and add sour cream and cheese. Remove from heat and stir until cheese has melted.
7. Cut chicken into small pieces. Mix together chicken, pasta, spinach, and sauce in a large baking dish or Dutch oven. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until bubbling and heated through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
This recipe is from Patio Daddio BBQ and it was scrumptious. The flavor that the grilled chicken brought to the dish was really grand. Art was happy to grill up the chicken for me and I prepared everything else. I’d love to incorporate grilled chicken into more dishes like this, because it really did enhance the overall flavor of the meal. I wonder if I could grill up a bunch of chicken breasts at a time and then freeze them in meal-sized packages? It’s worth considering.
I did think this dish needed a little bit more of something, but I’m not sure what. Maybe sundried tomatoes? Or a bit more spinach? Or… mushrooms! Mushrooms would be a great addition here!
Be aware, this recipe does make quite a bit of food, so consider halving it if you’re not interested in having leftovers all week.