So I know I had planned on taking the week off, but I just had to share with you a recipe!
I had planned on fixing our usual Christmas dinner (I wrote about it HERE), but then decided to switch it up a bit. We had a family pow-wow to see what everyone wanted. My goal was to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the day. So we came up with and Italian meal. Hubby grilled chicken Christmas Eve day in preparation. My mom is on a gluten-free diet so she had corn noodles and grilled chicken with pasta sauce. The semi-picky eaters had bow tie pasta with sauce and meatballs (I used canned sauce and frozen meatballs). Then I whipped up some Chicken Carbonara! Hubby loves that dish from the Olive Garden so I searched for a copy cat recipe. One of the blog readers shared a link to Olive Garden's website where they actually share the recipe there! Can you believe that?! I tweaked it a bit (imagine that?!) and it was a hit! You can also make this shrimp carbonara as well (just marinate and saute the shrimp instead of chicken).
Here it is from my house to yours!
Marinated Chicken or Shrimp
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1-2 lbs chicken strips or large shrimp, peeled and devained
1/2 cup butter
1-1 1/4 tsp. chopped garlic (I used the jar kind)
2 Tbsp. bacon bits (I used the jar kind)
4 1/2 tsp flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (I used the kind in a can)
2 cups heavy cream (I used whipping cream)
2 cups milk
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup crushed butter crackers
1 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp melted butter
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Chicken (or Shrimp)
Marinated chicken strips (I cut them in small strips so the little ones could eat them easily and so more of it went around) (or Shrimp) from step 1
1 cups roasted red peppers, cut into small strips
1/8-1/4 cup bacon bits (again...jar)
1 - 14 oz boxes of any long pasta on package (spaghetti, linguine, etc.) cooked using instructions
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Marinated Chicken (or Shrimp)
- WHISK extra virgin olive oil together with hot water, seasoning and chopped garlic.
- ADD the chicken strips (or shrimp).
- COVER and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
- MELT butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and bacon bits.
- SAUTÉ for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- ADD flour, Parmesan cheese, heavy cream, milk, pepper and salt.
- USE a wire whisk to whip all ingredients together.
- BRING to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer.
- COMBINE Parmesan, mozzarella, crushed crackers, chopped garlic, melted butter and chopped parsley in a mixing bowl.
- STIR until well blended. Set aside.
(I grilled the chicken, but next time I'm making it this way with the red peppers and bacon bits)
- PREHEAT large skillet. Add chicken (or shrimp) to pan. Add red peppers and bacon bits.
- COOK for 3 more minutes or until cooked on both sides and internal temperatures reach 165ºF for chicken and 155ºF for shrimp.
- ADD sauce (from above) Stir until well blended.
- PLACE hot, precooked pasta on a lager serving platter (I used a 9x13 baking dish and it was FULL!). Top with chicken (or shrimp) and sauce.
- EVENLY distribute topping over top of chicken (or shrimp).
- PLACE in broiler until top is golden brown.
- SERVE immediately and enjoy.
I'll be back some time this week to share our Christmas decor photos since it plum slipped my mind! Go figure! Hugs to all!