Friday, July 2, 2010

Easy pizza chicken packets

A little late getting to writing today, but that's because I'm home and off work on this gorgeous Friday to start my four-day holiday weekend!  Woohoo!  I "slept in" until 6:30, made it out for a quickie 2-mile run, watered my flowers (oh, you guys are due for an updated picture -- coming soon!), made a very colorful breakfast sandwich, and tidied up for the company that's on its way at this very moment :)

Last night was my turn to host dinner for Laura and, in keeping with this week's theme of cleaning out the fridge and pantry, I scrounged up ingredients to make a quick little Italian feast.  It was one of those days that, had it been a Monday, would've sent me crawling back into bed.  But, thankfully it was a surprise Friday and I was able to laugh at every ridiculous thing that happened.  Everyone mysteriously losing things at work?  Check.  Pipe under my kitchen sink coming apart and spilling water everywhere?  Check.  New ice cream treat turning out to be gross and bad for some reason?  Check.  Crazy man following us on the street pretending to look at us through an imaginary periscope?  Oooooooh check.  This dinner was a true testament to the fact that good friends and good food can make you forget about everything.  The ultimate comfort food in the form of a tender chicken breast smothered with sauce, veggies, and ooey gooey cheese over a bed of buttery garlic pasta.  And that bad ice cream?  Yeah, we just high-tailed it to Dave & Andy's where some mint cookies and cream soothed my soul.

My mom always made chicken pizzeria for us at home, but I decided to adapt it to a bit of a smaller crowd.  While she normally made it in a large glass baking dish, I opted for a no-mess foil packet preparation.  And I did a quick sauté of the mushrooms with a little oil to soften them up a bit, but that's not necessary at all.  Personalize this as you would your very own pizza!  I like green peppers and mushrooms, so that's obviously the route I took.  Pepperoni would be a great topping, and I know Matt would enjoy it.  Diced onions, thinly sliced and chopped ham, even sausage.  The sky is the limit!  Well, maybe not that high as you do want the foil to envelope your little pizza-ized chicken.

I think I'll go read a little on the porch before the guests of honor arrive.  And, a little downtime before a busy weekend full of baseball games (I am pro-Pirates, for once!), the three rivers regatta, and fireworks!  Have a great holiday, everyone! :o)

Pizzeria Chicken
-serves 2

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced green peppers
Spaghetti noodles (I enjoy heaping piles of pasta, so cook as much as you want)
Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Cut two 12-inch square pieces of foil and place side by side on a baking sheet.  In the center of each sheet, place a chicken breast, top with half of the marinara sauce, sprinkle with cheese, mushrooms, and peppers.  Fold the foil up around the chicken breast and tent it slightly, then fold over to seal.  You want to leave some room in there for heat circulation and that way the cheese won't stick to the top of the foil.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water 8-10 minutes.  Drain, and season with garlic salt and a tablespoon of butter.  Toss, and set aside.  Remove chicken from oven.  Serve over fresh pasta and enjoy... whilst listening to the music from the motion picture The Godfather playing in the background to reiterate the Italian theme :)

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