Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Happy Accident That Turned Out Delicious!

Last night I decided to try out a recipe I got from Giada at Home. I just love her and this sounded yummy and like something my family would enjoy. It was supposed to be Penne in Almond Sauce (I included the link so you can see original recipe). However, I miscalculated somewhere, had the wrong pasta and it turned out different than anticipated. The recipe calls for 2 cups of slivered almonds. Apparently, 2 cups of whole almonds is quite a bit more. The recipe also calls for 2 cups chicken broth. Instead of store bought, I used some that I had kept from another dinner and frozen. In hind sight, it occurs to me that mine was much thicker than the broth from a can. To clarify, the recipe instructs one to blend the broth, almonds, some garlic cloves and olive oil together. You are then to simmer this in a saute pan to thicken and reduce. What came out of my blender was already so thick that I nicknamed it almond hummus. I tried to thin it with some water as I heated it, but after adding the heavy cream, it was still so thick I had to ladle some out to make room to stir in the chicken. Also, I thought when I was shopping that I still had a box of penne at home. I was wrong, so last night I had to use spaghetti. What came out was what I will lovingly call Chicken Spaghetti in Almond Sauce. It was amazing! Even my picky two year old, who often survives on bird sized bites here and there, ate it up. So here's to accidents in the kitchen that result in yummy food, rather than small kitchen fires!

I would encourage you to try Giada's recipe, which we will try again, but if you're interested, here's my revised version:

Chicken Spaghetti with Almond Sauce
1 1/2 C. Almonds
3 Garlic Cloves
2 C. Chicken Broth (definitely use the store bought)
1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 C. Heavy Cream
1/2 C. Water
1 lb Cooked Chicken, cut to bite size pieces
1 box Spaghetti
2 C. Parmesan, grated

Boil spaghetti according to directions. Puree the almonds, garlic, olive oil and chicken broth in a blender. Add water as needed. Heat over medium-high in a saute pan. Once heated through, reduce heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and salt and pepper to taste. Add in chicken and heat until chicken warmed through. The original recipe called for peas as well, which sounds amazing but wouldn't have worked for my family. If you want to add in some frozen peas, add with the chicken. Once spaghetti is just cooked, drain and toss in 1 cup of the Parmesan. Toss pour on the almond sauce and toss to combine. Then add remaining Parmesan and toss. Serve quickly!