31 Days of Frugal Meals // Day 6

October 6, 2012

The never ending chicken...we still have two more days of it. Lucky for us it tastes really good. Plus this next recipe will get me out of cooking one night. To recap what the other items I served with this chicken check out the past two days below:

Today I am using both of the leg quarters for this recipe. Considering how much the meat falls apart I also have to drain off some of the juices to retrieve the left behind bits of chicken goodness. The recipe I am using doesn't call for chicken, or meat of any kind...but to save myself from utter rebellion I decided to add it in. Plus it stretches out the pasta a little more. 

Roasted Red-Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo

Now here is the actual recipe with what changes I made to make it healthier and cheaper; because nothing even sounds cheap about this from the start. We all know you have to sign off your first born to buy the over priced red pepper. Or is that just me that freaks out over a buck fifty for a veggie?

2 whole red bell peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fat free half & half
4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
2/3 cup grated parigiano reggiano cheese
1/2 cup artichoke hearts (optional)
1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place red peppers on baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes until peppers are charred. Remove from oven and cover with foil 10 minutes.
In the mean time, saute onions and garlic in olive oil 7 minutes or until tender. Pour in half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
Uncover peppers, peel off skin and remove stem and seeds. Chop into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat. Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta. Taste and adjust seasonings. Top with more parmesan cheese, pepper, salt and parsley, if desired.
Instead of red bell peppers use either a cheap jarred version, or just sub in the less costly green bell peppers. If you still have some of the seasoning blend from earlier in the week hanging around use it to replace the onion. Instead of half & half I buy fat free evaporated milk, it runs about a dollar for 14.5 oz verses the couple of dollars you will spend on the other. You will never find a 4oz container of goat cheese, and if you do bless your heart I've never seen it. If i don't want to buy goat cheese and have some Greek yogurt and feta on hand I will just puree the two together tasting as I add the feta. It isn't an exact taste but it give the tartness and creaminess of goat cheese with ingredients I always have on hand. Instead of parigiano reggiano I just use the powdered Parmesan cheese, unless I need it for more than one recipe...then I buy the already shredded in the bag or plastic container. Home girl don't shred. I always leave out the artichoke, I love them...but the Mr. isn't a fan so it is a waste of money to add them and hear him complain. You really won't feel like you are missing anything leaving them out either, the chicken makes up for it a millions times over. Oh and buy Smart Taste or Whole Wheat pasta...Smart Taste is way lower calorie compared to WW. Plus it happens to be my acceptable middle ground pasta between what I want (whole wheat) and what Jeremy wants (white). 
Have I told you I love this chicken?
I do. 
I love this chicken.