Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

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Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Pasta
adapted from and with thanks to A Taste of Home Cooking

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces shaped pasta, like penne or medium shells
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • Grated parm and crushed red pepper flake, for serving

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until nearly crispy. Remove to a bowl and pour off the bacon fat, leaving just the bottom of the pan coated. Add the chicken to the skillet, season with the dried herbs, salt, and pepper and saute until golden brown and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Add the bacon back to the pan. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Increase heat to high and add chicken stock. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and let cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of dried basil; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium/medium low (sauce should still be bubbling) and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.

Stir in half and half and reserved chicken with any accumulated juices. Add pasta to the pan and toss to combine.

Serve immediately, with plenty of grated parm and red pepper flakes at the table.

NOTES

Cuh-razy good pasta. After only a few bites, Steve made me promise to put it in my permanent repertiore (which I did; I made it the second time only a week later). He also made me promise to make it next time we have any family over for dinner. It’s that amazing.

I must admit, this one took me by surprise for one main reason: I thought it had a rather strange and jumbled ingredient list. Chicken + bacon + mushrooms = good. Chicken + Italian herbs + cream + cheese + tomatoes + red pepper = good. All together, though? Really? I wasn’t so sure. I WAS WRONG. This is an unbelievably fantastic combination of ingredients, however “busy” it may look on paper. Trust me. If you don’t make this straight away, you’re missing out.

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11 thoughts on “Chicken, Bacon and Mushroom Pasta

  1. I totally get that, Sarah, and I love that, too. Thanks again!

    Rebecca, make it make it make it. I know you already have your own bacom tomato pasta, but make it anyway. 😉

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  2. Word.

    It's so good. Steve wants it every week right now, until he tires of it. And my friend Amy above did make it and she and her husband and kids absoltely loved it. Woohoo!

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  3. I finally got around to making this last night and it absolutely did NOT disappoint! Very very tasty and you're right, it's not a combination of ingredients I'd initially have thought would work well together, but they absolutely did. I also chiffonated (chiffonaded?) fresh basil in place of dried, which was very nice.

    The sauce in mine didn't thicken up quite as much as I'd wanted it to, so either letting it simmer longer or adding less liquid to start with would be ideal. I didn't have any chicken stock on hand so I used a full cup of apple juice and a store-bought stock cube (sorry sorry sorry sorry).

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  4. HA! Don't be sorry. I'm glad you had something that simulated that blend of apple cider and stock. Whatever works.

    Funny that you added fresh basil because the original recipe called for it. I substitute dry because I don't grow my own and so rarely have small amounts of fresh on hand.

    I am so thrilled you loved this Scott! Thanks for stopping by to tell me!

    Like

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