I have officially reached the hibernation stage of winter.
Once I’m home from work, I am constantly clad in my fleece pants, thick socks and carrying a fuzzy blanket for our schnauzer and me to curl up under on the couch.
On top of that, I’m mostly attracted to meals that are warm and carb heavy.
This week, I finally gave into my temptation for a cheesy, high-calorie meal, and it was absolutely fabulous. It was the perfect thing to fill us up on a cold night, and it was easy, too.
This comes from an online video by Luke Brown. You can find him on reels on Facebook. I added extra seasoning to my version of his recipe below.
Creamy Chicken and Tortellini
- 2 large chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes mostly drained and chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 19 ounces frozen tortellini
- In a large plastic bag, combine the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss in the chicken, seal the bag, and shake until the chicken is well coated in the flour mixture.
- Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium heat and add in the olive oil and butter. Add the chicken and saute until it is golden brown and the internal temperature of the largest piece is 165 degrees.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside for now.
- Add the minced garlic and sun-dried tomatoes to the pan and saute for about one minute. Pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan a bit as you stir to get all the good bits off the bottom.
- Add in the parmesan, red pepper flakes, oregano and thyme, and stir until the cheese is melted and everything is well combined.
- Add in the frozen tortellini (Don’t bother stirring at this point. The frozen pasta will just make your parmesan clump back up.), and place the lid on the pan. Turn the heat down to low, and let the pasta cook for about five minutes.
- Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce, and then add in the chicken. Give the whole dish a good stir to coat everything in the sauce, and serve immediately.
This was amazing. It was cheesy, creamy and definitely filling. It could have benefited from a big piece of garlic bread to go along with it, too.
The only problem with it was that it immediately made me want to go take a nap—I’m pretty sure it counted as carbo-loading.
As much as I wish I could eat these big heavy meals all winter, I know I’ll need to stick to healthier options most of the time. But that doesn’t mean this fantastic pasta dish won’t make another appearance at some point while I still have my cold-weather blanket in tow.
This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 26, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.