Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chicken Carbonaro

Today is a great day!  It's a great day because Austin is finally out of my kitchen.  I will have space again.  I won't always be surrounded by paleo, weighed-out portions of carbs, fats, and proteins.  Yesterday was Austin's last day on the Zone Diet!

Today, he woke up and ate cookies for breakfast, put sugar and cream in his coffee, and smiled.  There was a lot of smiling.  There was no measuring.  Today, we are both happy!

His challenge lasted 31 days and he successfully completed (makes it sound like a competition...yeah, that's accurate) all 93 meals and all 62 snacks.  In the meantime, I gained 5 pounds and my dinners for the past month have usually consisted of Cheez-Its and muffins.
About halfway into the month, most of our conversations started revolving around: "what do you miss the most?" and, "what are you going to eat first?!"  At first, he couldn't really get past wanting chocolate cake.  Then he started thinking about meals too, not just dessert.  He requested this Chicken Carbonaro, but since he hasn't had dairy for a whole month and he was already lactose-intolerant (kinda) before, I talked him out of it.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have it!

If I had been torturing myself for the past month, I would probably choose this meal too.  In fact, when I go home to visit and my parents ask me what I want for dinner, it is almost always Chicken Carbonaro.
This Carbonaro is not at all like the traditional Italian dish.  It is loaded with chicken, bacon and green peppers.  There's no egg, but we definitely kept the cream and parmesan cheese in there.  I used to think this was really hard to make because we did not have it that often, then when I tried to make it myself for the first time, I realized that really there was no excuse for why we didn't eat it every night.

1 box spaghetti
2 chicken breast, cubed
1 package bacon, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk
1 c. +/- parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

1.  In a large skillet, cook bacon.  Turn out onto a paper towel-lined plate.  Drain excess bacon fat.

2.  In skillet with leftover bacon grease, cook chicken.  Once cooked thoroughly, add cream and milk.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

3.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

4.  When pasta is almost (2 minutes left), add cheese to skillet with cream and chicken.  Simmer and stir until sauce thickens slightly.

5.  When pasta finishes cooking, add bacon and green pepper to sauce.  Simmer for 1 more minute.  Dish out pasta and top with sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.

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