We’ve had a magic day out and about enjoying the sunshine and cool breeze that Autumn in Auckland offers. We visited friends with a brand new six-week old Siberian Husky (super cute!) and had lunch with the grandparents in Devonport, followed by a scootering adventure. The kids were both shattered as we climbed into the car at 4.30pm for the drive home.
As soon as I began the half hour journey home, I thought about what on earth I was going to make for dinner. I had some creamy, cheese sauce left over from the Pretzels we made yesterday. I also had boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the fridge and a lovely leek. How to combine these ingredients, quickly and end up with something delicious that the kids would love? Originally I thought I could do a little pie with a mashed potato top, but swiftly realised the peeling, boiling and mashing of potatoes was going to take too long. This meal is the result of my highway thoughts.
We pulled into the driveway at 5.10pm, I put the rubbish out for tomorrow morning’s collection, bought my two sleeping babes in from the car, plonked them on the couch in front of Kidzone and got busy. This was served at 6.00pm. Phew – mission accomplished.
My Mr Mr is away at the moment, but I know he would have sincerely enjoyed this meal. His kids sure did!
You could use this as a pie filling with a mashed potato or pastry top, as a pasta sauce with any kind of pasta you choose or even serve with rice.
Creamy Chicken & Leek Pappardelle
1 T olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
6 boneless, skinless Chicken thighs
1 leek, white part only, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic
A handful of green beans, topped & tailed
1 portion of Cheese Sauce (recipe below)
250g pasta of your choice
In a deep-sided fry pan with a lid or dutch oven (Le Creuset), heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs and crushed garlic and brown on both sides (5 minutes each side). Remove from pan and set aside.
Remove excess oil from pan and return to the heat. Add 1 T butter and melt. Add sliced leek and beans and cook for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Return the chicken thighs to the pan, ensuring you do not add any of the liquid that may have resulted from them resting.
Mix together and add the cheese sauce, stirring to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until pasta is ready.
Cook pasta until el dente and drain well. Spoon sauce on a bed of pasta and serve immediately.
For the Cheese Sauce
2 T flour
1 C milk
1 C cheese, grated
Salt & pepper to taste
In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk to combine. Cook for 1 minute to cook off the flour. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly ensuring no lumps form (if they do, just keep whisking!). Continue to add milk a little at a time until you have reached a smooth thick sauce. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon. Season to taste. This will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.