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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Italian Chicken Breasts with Lemon Vegetable Pasta

I had to say goodbye to an old friend today. My heart was broken, as I had to make the decision to lay to rest my electric skillet that I have had since I got married. In fact, I received it as a shower gift. I love my cooking stuff, it is beaten up, bruised, but I know it and it knows me and, for the most part, has never left me stranded! Plus, I am not at all swayed with the new stuff on the market. OK, I must admit I do drool over the Kitchen Aid Professional series 6 Qt mixer

and once my current baby decides to take its' last breath, I will not grieve for too long and grab this one.  Plus, there is a set of $2000 knives that I WILL be buying but I am trying to figure out a way to convince my husband that they were only $100.

But, back to my electric skillet...I made my Italian chicken breasts last night in my skillet and noticed that the cord was hot...I mean really hot. I had noticed this before, but ignored it as I know how that skillet works like I know the back of my hand. I always made sure to have the fire extiguisher close by in case the worst of the worst happened. So, my husband and I made the official call of death and laid it to rest in our garbage can.

In honor of my little buddy who was used more times than I can count and never left me high and dry. I dedicate this blog to him and remind him that he will never be forgotten! Now..I do have to admit that this dish was actually never going to make it to the blog until I had to do this in honor of my skillet, I had not tried lemon vegetable pasta yet and didn't want to subject my audience to a potential disaster, so pictures are very limited.

I devised the lemon vegetable pasta dish from a dish I always get at Olive Garden. Years ago, I had come across a dish of theirs called Chicken and Shrimp Limone (or something like that). As is the tradition with Olive Garden, once its' season was over, the dish was never seen or heard from again. At one of my favorite Olive Garden's, the manager, bless his soul, broke down what was in the recipe wrote the ingredients on a business card and now I can get it whenever I head in. Well, seeing that the closest OG is 40 minutes from my home, I wanted to be able to have it more often, but could never figure it out. Well, I was strolling through Jewel one day and I saw that Kraft has a whole new line of Philadelphia Cream Cheese cooking cremes that look fantasic. I eyed one for Savory Lemon and Herbs and my mind quickly got to ciphering!!  I came up with Lemon Vegetable Pasta!

So, here we go!:

First the chicken:


2 pounds thinly cut chicken breast, should be cutlet sized
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
Very liberal amounts of olive oil cooking spray
lemon slices, optional


1)  Combine parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a ziploc bag
2)  Dip chicken breast into egg mixture and place in bag and shake until well coated. Repeat until all chicken is finished.
3) Allow chicken to dry for about 15 minutes.
4) In the meantime, in your electric skillet or a nonstick pan, spray pan with olive oil spray and then place the olive oil in the pan and allow to heat up.
5) Place chicken breast in pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place in a 350 degree oven while the rest of the meal is wrapped up. DON'T LET CHICKEN COOK MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. BE SURE TO PLAN YOUR MEAL ACCORDINGLY!
6) When ready serve.

Now the pasta...

Lemon Vegetable Pasta


Approximately 3-4 cups of fresh veggies: I used
Baby carrot~grated finely
SWEET Onion, sliced
Frozen asparagus brought to room temperature and cut into 1 inch pieces
Frozen thin cut green beans or fresh green beans blanched and cut into 1 inch pieces
Zuchini/Summer Squash, sliced
tomatoes chopped (with seeds is ok)

1 teaspoon Olive oil
Olive oil spray
8-12 ounces pasta (depends on how "saucy" you want your pasta). I like mine a bit saucier so I went with 8 ounces
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
Additional lemon slices if desired


1) In a nonstick large skillet, spray very liberally with olive oil spray and 1 teaspoon olive oil...allow it to get HOT!
2) Add veggies and allow to cook down. This should take about 20 minutes. Be patient with it!!
3) In the meantime, cook the pasta.
4) When veggies are cooked down, add cooking creme and stir until well coated
5) Add milk and additional lemon juice. Stir and it is ready to serve!

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