Chicken & Shells make for an easy-to-make meal that is perfect for any night of the week. This recipe is suitable for both family and company, young and old alike. The cream and broth based sauce in this dinner will wow your palate and impress anyone lucky enough to be seated at your table.
Chicken & Shells
This chicken & shells recipe is basic enough to make it easy but with plenty going on in the flavor department to keep it interesting and delicious. It starts out on your stove top and ends up in the oven.
Fresh rosemary is infused into the sauce, and lemon zest is added to the topping. Deep within it all is sautéed chicken breast, shredded and mixed in with the shell pasta and sauce.
Did I mention there is Gorgonzola cheese in the sauce? Perhaps I failed to disclose this to our kids, with strategic intent. Might I just say, “Score!” After I placed this chicken & shells dish on the table, the first words to come from one of our 9 year old boys, “Dad, this is amazing!” Score! This is one of those meals that keeps on giving. You can put it together for well under $15, leaving some change in your pocket for other niceties like dessert and primping supplies and important things like that. Also, these chicken & shells are great for leftovers. They reheat in the microwave in just a minute or so. And finally, it’s a dish that will make you look really good in front of your family; Score!
Chicken and Shells recipe
- 1 lb. medium pasta shells
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz gorgonzola cheese
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- zest from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a 9 x 13" baking dish with non-stick coating.
- Using large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.
- Cook chicken breasts in pan for about 6 minutes on each side, until internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Remove from pan, allow to cool, then shred with fork and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan, over medium heat and stir in flour.
- Gradually add cream and broth until thoroughly combined.
- Crumble gorgonzola cheese and add to sauce. Stir until melted.
- Add rosemary sprigs.
- Bring to boil then reduce heat to low simmer. Cook and stir for about 10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil and prepare shells to al dente, drain and set aside.
- In small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, lemon zest and remaining olive oil. Stir to mix well.
- Using large mixing bowl, combine cooked shells with sauce. Add shredded chicken and stir together until completely blended.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan. Evenly sprinkle breadcrumb topping over top of shells.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.