There was some days where you just look into the refrigerator to see what you can make with a bunch of different ingredients. Yesterday was one of those days.
I came back home for the holiday weekend today, and that meant trying to use up all of the remaining vegetables in the refrigerator, since I didn’t want them to go bad by the time I got back. Luckily for me, I only had to contend with mushrooms and garlic, and I had moved a chicken breast to defrost from the freezer the night before. One more look in the pantry gave me everything I needed to put together this dish.
Mushroom Chicken Pasta
Makes 2 – 3 servings
~ 1/2 box linguine or spaghetti
~ 1 10 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
~ 1/2 cup water
~ 1 large chicken breast
~ 4 cloves garlic
~ 5 – 6 white mushrooms
~ 1 egg
~ Sriracha sauce
- Take your mushrooms and slice them up nice and evenly. Even if the mushrooms are large in size, don’t worry as they will probably shrink during the cooking process.
- Take your cloves of garlic and mince them. Feel free to adjust the number of cloves based on your love of garlic.
- For the chicken breast, I cut them down into one-inch chunks. However, you could reduce their cut size even further if you want to attain a more bite-sized piece.
- Lay out two additional bowls next to your pieces of chicken: one with egg and one with flour. Take your chicken pieces and first toss them in the flour to get that first initial coating. Then move then over into the egg and then back into the flour for a second round of coating. Set those aside when you’re finished.
- The cream of mushroom soup will act as the sauce base for the pasta, so let’s get that rolling. In a medium saucepan, pour the mushroom soup, along with 1/2 cup of water. Mix that up so that the water gets nice and distributed, and then bring the soup to a boil. Once it hits that point, go ahead and throw in your mushrooms and garlic. Simmer this mixture at medium-low for about 15 minutes.
- Once the soup is set for simmering, go ahead and start to boil a pot of water for your pasta. The aim is to try to get the pasta to finish a little after your other two ingredients, just so that you can turn your full attention to draining the pasta and walking away from the stovetop for a bit. The linguine I used takes about 8 minutes to to cook to al dente, so add in the time for the water to boil and it’s right around that mark.
- When the water for the pasta is getting close to boiling, start heating up a medium-sized skillet on medium-high with a small layer of oil for the shallow pan fry. (At this point, if your water is boiling, go ahead and throw your pasta in there). Test out your oil after a few minutes to see if it’s ready by adding a small pinch of flour to the pan. If you see the oil react, it’s showtime.
- Add in your chicken breast pieces and start to fry them, with the objective to get a golden brown color on the outside. Adjust the heat during cooking to make sure that the chicken can cook through all the way, and add a little bit of oil here and there to help out the frying process.
- After my chicken was finished, I set them aside on a plate so that they didn’t continue to cook on the hot pan. Taste your soup to see if the flavor is good or if you need to add any spices. Drain out the pasta, and we’re ready to start plating.
- Put your layer of pasta on the dish first, adding a few scoops of the mushroom soup on top of that. Take your Sriracha sauce and add some of that on top (I decided to go with a zig-zag pattern). Put some of the chicken breast chunks on top of that, sprinkle some parsley over that for garnish, and that meal is good to go.
I drew some inspiration for this dish from alfredo, as I wanted to see what alternative for a creamy sauce could be for the pasta. Cream of mushroom soup provided the perfect answer, and by adding more mushrooms, it gave the soup that chunky consistency that I was looking for. The sriracha sauce definitely gives the dish additional flavor and level of heat (not to mention it gives the plate a nice contrast) that mixed well with the cream of mushroom soup. I’m thinking the chicken breast doesn’t need to be breaded to add to this dish, but doing so gives it that slight crunch that makes it even more enjoyable.
From a flavor standpoint, I thought that it was a well-balanced dish, with no one component overpowering any of the other ones. It is definitely a hearty meal, and I was so hungry yesterday that I helped myself to two plates!