Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Smoked Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Cream Sauce

Smoking meat is one of those things I really want to learn to do.

Correction:  smoking meat is really one of those things I really want the MR. to learn to do!

He has smoked meat a several times.

But truthfully, there is an art to doing it well.

Some people call that "a knack!"

The problem is that the Mr. doesn't want to learn how to do this "art," as much as I want him to learn!

Oh, the problems we have!

But!  My smoking meat dilemma was cured a few weeks ago when a friend of ours offered to smoke some meat for us.

He's really good at what he does!

He's even won a "smoking competition."

Now!  Before you go making wise cracks about that statement . . .I already know what you might say.

Honestly, though . . . there's a lot to being able to smoke meat well.

And well he did!

After the meat was smoked, the Mr. and I put it into the freezer so that we'd have it when we wanted it.

This week, with the crazy schedule we're running around here, I pulled some of the wonderfully cooked chicken from the freezer and defrosted it.

This is what I made . . . pulled smoked chicken with pasta and artichoke cream sauce.

Sounds fancy, huh?

It is sooooo easy!

You know what "pulled smoked chicken" really is?

A lazy way of serving chicken!

Sounds fancy.

Makes the price go up if you're ordering it in a restaurant.

But truthfully, it's a fast way to remove the meat from the bone and the best part is this;

you don't even have to chop it or anything!

You just pull it . . .you get what you get!

It's awesome!

If you don't have a Mr. that will smoke the chicken for you,

or a friend who will . . .

just use unsmoked chicken.

Or go to your favorite bbq joint and order yourself a chicken quarter or two and pull your own chicken.

Smoked Chicken Pasta with Artichoke Cream Sauce

1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
2 cups heavy cream or 1/2 and 1/2 . . . whichever you have
8 oz dried pasta, cooked (you know I used gluten free)
pulled smoked chicken (use as much or as little as you want or have)
salt and pepper to taste

After draining the artichoke hearts, pour the cream or 1/2 and 1/2 (or a mixture of the two) into a sauce pan and add the artichoke hearts.  Bring the two to a low simmer and heat thoroughly for 5-6 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a large pan of water, seasoned generously with salt, onto boil.  When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to directions.  The last 3 minutes of cooking, I added the pulled chicken to the boiling pasta to heat the chicken thoroughly.  Drain the pasta and chicken when the pasta is done.

After the cream and artichokes are heated and been simmering a bit, add the cream mixture to a blender and puree.  Do this in small batches so that the hot liquid doesn't create a huge mess in your kitchen or on you!  I ran the blender for several minutes, as I wanted as smooth of a sauce as possible.

Taste the sauce and season accordingly with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, place the pasta and chicken and pour the hot cream sauce and mix well.

Serve immediately.

*If you need more sauce, just add more heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2, or even milk.  I used 1/2 and 1/2, because that's what I had . . .but it also cuts the calories from the heavy cream and we didn't know any better to know if the taste was compromised!

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