I never thought I would be writing a blog from what is potentially The Lockdown Kitchen, at least for the immediate future. There have not been, fortunately, many occasions during my lifetime whereby as a nation we have faced such a deadly adversary as Corona (COVID-19), and known about it. Yet there is a percentage of the population whom seem oblivious to the fuller ramifications.
An interesting social experiment would be surviving on WWII style rations. With that in mind I have decided to cook tonight an Italian stalwart, Chicken Alfredo.
Its a simple dish of spaghetti cooked in a mixture of milk and chicken stock which becomes a rich cheese sauce with the addition of Parmesan and cream. Roasted and sliced chicken breasts are adding just before serving for the chicken to be covered in this amazing sauce.
As for the alternatives; milk is milk and this can be made with re-hydrated milk. Parmesan can have any hard cheese as a substitute or even dry cheese sauce mix. As for the cream, well cornflour with skimmed milk will do the job.
In essence this dish is the The Cs – chicken, cheesy & cheap. With rationing in mind I was working on the basis being as frugal as possible, with no waste or leftovers; & cooking for one!
The chicken needs to be cooked in some herbs. Basil is preferably but anything that is to hand (thyme, parsley etc. The lesser the aroma the more herb, the better the dish. Salt and pepper aid the flavours so dont be scared.
When the chicken is cooked set aside and left it rest (cool down) – cover with foil.
Boil the kettle and take a chicken stock cube and add hot water as directed hot water. Take a shallow pan and add a small amount of milk (eg 100ml) and a handful of spaghetti (other forms of pasta will do). Add a little of the chicken stock and watch as the pasta soaks up the liquid. As the pasta softens keep moving it and if it looks too dry a little more milk and stock.
After a couple of minutes introduce the cheese. About 30gms (1oz) should be enough, I grated 15gms(1/2oz) of Parmesan. If you haven’t cheese then a cheese sauce mix is an alternative and there will be no need to make it up just add it to the pan.
As the pasta nears cooked in the thicken sauce, cut the chicken into strips and add to the pan. Keep stirring. When there’s a good covering of sauce over the pasta and chicken serve it.
If you’ve reserved some cheese sprinkle it on. It maybe the finest Italian meal you are likely to enjoy for a while!