This recipe didn't start out being Mexican. The actual recipe was Barbeque Chicken Pasta but when I went to grab the bbq/chili seasoning that I thought I had, I couldn't find it. I'm not sure if one of the boys hid it in their many attempts at rearranging the spice cabinet or if I sent it in with my first Foodie Penpal gift box, but it was nowhere to be found. I had to improvise with some taco seasoning and no one ever knew the difference (:
I was worried this dish wouldn't have a ton of flavor but I was quickly proven wrong. My mom ate dinner with us that night and the pasta received good reviews from both of them. Just goes to show, sometimes less is more and you don't have to add a ton of ingredients to make something flavorful.
Mexican Chicken Pasta
adapted very slightly from Eat, Live, Run
8oz uncooked rotini pasta (or more if you have 2 garbage disposals for children)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1" pieces
2 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp minced garlic
1 shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used aged white cheddar)
fresh basil for garnishment
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, being careful to reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Set noodles and reserved water aside.
Sprinkle 1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning over cut chicken breast. Toss well to coat.
Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over high heat. Once hot, add chicken and cook until done, about 6-8 minutes. Once the chicken has finished cooking, scoop it out of the skillet and place on a plate. Now, add the orange bell pepper and saute briefly for about 1 minute. Remove and place next to the chicken on the plate.
Heat up the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 4 minutes. Then, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream and sprinkle in the remaining teaspoon of taco seasoning and sea salt to taste. Add the chicken and bell pepper back to the skillet and toss well.
Place the cooked pasta back into the pot you cooked it in, and pour over the sauce with the chicken and bell pepper. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top and mix well so that the cheese melts. If pasta looks dry, add a tablespoon of reserved pasta water and toss. Season to taste.