One of my failings as a cook is I always forget to read the recipe properly. It is something I do regularly and is a real pain in the butt when I think the recipe takes 30 minutes but actually you need an extra hour or so to marinade.....this is what happened here.....whoops!! So if you try this recipe (and I recommend you do), don't forget to marinade and to be honest the longer the better so you could always do it in the morning or night before if you were super organised.
To carry on our week of the combination of chicken and cheese (the mountain of cheese is thankfully nearly finished) I saw this recipe on morning TV and thought it hit all the spots - I could use up some Philadelphia and also Pascal & Arabella could feed their pasta addiction, plus it was quick (ish) and easy to do. Obviously I altered the original recipe to perfect it!
Ingredients for 4 people:
2 x 220g pack of chicken breast goujons (mini fillets)
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves picked (I used dried)
3 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
4 leeks washed and shredded
100ml white wine (optional - I didn't use it as we had drunk all the white in our house)!
4 tbsp cream cheese (you can also use creme fraiche)
100g grated cheddar cheese
2-3 tbsp reserved pasta cooking water
250g pasta (they suggested penne but I used trottole as I liked the shape)!
Parmesan if required
AT LEAST ONE HOUR BEFORE COOKING!!
Place the chicken goujons in either a resealable freezer bag or bowl and add the garlic, thyme and olive oil and mix together until it is all combined, then leave to marinade FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR. I just did 15 minutes and I have to say it was good but I think it's much better if you can marinade for as long as pos.
Preheat a griddle or frying pan and cook the goujons for around three minutes each side until cooked through.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions.
We did not cook in a griddle as we don't have one so used a large frying pan and did everything in that. So depending on what you use either fry the leeks separately or add them to the chicken before it is cooked through. I would probably recommend not doing what we did as the pan was practically over flowing at the end and created more mess than if we had used two pans in the first place! However the recipe still worked - you just need to get your timings right.
Anyway the leeks take about 7 minutes to soften so add these and then add the white wine if you are using it (we didn't), cook until the liquid has been reduced by half and then stir.
Add the cream cheese or creme fraiche and grated cheddar.
Hopefully by this point the pasta is cooked and so add 2-3 tbsp of the pasta water to let the sauce down. Finally mix with the chicken if you have cooked it in separate pans and then toss together in the pasta and voila!
It was delicious - chicken and leeks are great together - you could even add more leeks and some peas if you wanted to make it greener. The only issue I had with this recipe is timing so just make sure you read it all first (I hope I have learnt my lesson) but otherwise it was pretty simple to do and a good one for all the family (Arabella even had seconds)!