Back when I had my baby, my family was wonderful in bringing me and my husband meals. We ate very well the week or two following the birth of our little girl! Everything was just wonderful. So recently, when a neighbor had a baby and I had volunteered to bring a meal, a pasta dish that my sister brought immediately popped into my head.
I called her up to get the recipe, and she told me that she had come across a recipe that she liked even more than the one she had brought me. If it was better, I knew it would be good, so I got that recipe.
This was so good that I ended up making it for another neighbor that had just had a baby only a few weeks after the first. And lucky for me, the recipe makes so much that I had enough to take to the other family as well as enough for my family – for several meals!! It’s definitely not a meal that you can have often, but I always thinks it’s ok to splurge once in awhile – and this is worth the splurge!
I did do a couple of things differently each time, so I’ll share what I learned with you. The first time I made this, I put the chicken in the crockpot whole, and then cut it into chunks after it was cooked. The second time, I cut it into chunks first before cooking. I definitely preferred the first method better. Although the chicken took longer to cook, I liked the texture of the chicken much better the first time around. Also, the first time I used bowtie pasta, and the second time I used penne. I preferred the penne, although I’m sure any short cut pasta will work.
I had to make up a name for this, since I didn’t get a name when I got the recipe from my sister – and she is out of town right now. Although I’m sure this is one of those recipes that is passed around through neighbors and doesn’t really have a name!
Chicken & Bacon Pasta
serves 8 – 10
6 chicken breast halves
1 12-ounce bottle Lawry’s Mesquite marinade
1 pound bacon, cooked and diced
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pepper
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for the top
1 pound small cut pasta, cooked and drained
a few handfuls of frozen peas
Put the chicken breasts and the marinade in a crockpot. Cook until chicken is done – about 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. When cooked, cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
In a large pan, combine the cream, pepper, butter, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Whisk over medium heat until combined and thickened.
Combine the pasta, bacon, chicken and sauce. Toss in the frozen peas and stir to combine everything. Pour into a baking dish (you might need 2 dishes, because this makes A LOT!), top with more Parmesan, and cook in a 350F oven until the cheese is melted.