Monday, March 23, 2009

Cooking With Chub Minus The H: Episode 1 - Spaghetti with vodka sauce and ground chicken.

Now we get to the actual meat and marrow of the blog: cooking! I'm going to to talk about cooking... a lot. I'm not really one to measure portions or calories (that Yan-Yan was 310 calories for a 44g snack and it was damn tasty!) so I may refer to vague measurements. If this haphazard way of cooking bothers you, eat me. If I do have a specifc amount listed like 1 tablespoon or 1 box, usually that's good enough. I am not the host of a food network show, nor am I anywhere close to talented enough for it, but I have 28 years worth of eating behind me, you'd think I know a thing or two in the kitchen.

Chick-N-Vodka Spaghetti


1 box of whole wheat pasta
1 pack of ground chicken
1 bottle of vodka sauce
1 handful or so of a spicy pepper medley


Mozzarella, cheddar or the shreddable cheese of your choice (Marble for me maybe)
Grated Light Parmesan (What I'll actually sprinkle on my pasta)

Yeah, I'm being a horrible lazy cheat by using bottled sauce but bite me, I'm poor. If I have enough money to buy vodka, it's sure as hell not for cooking. Now, though I'm poor, I'm not stupid and I recognize that whole wheat pasta has a few more health benefits, as does ground chicken over ground beef. Let's face it, I'm rocking the health train with this one... even if I'm not, at least it's less evil for me than a burger joint.
Anyway, the boxes of whole wheat spaghetti are usually about half as big as normal boxes of regular, boring spaghetti. Half a box is enough for a good meal for me. The only reason I'm cooking a full box is so I have some for lunch tomorrow, riding that healthy body/ healthy wallet train a little further.
At any rate, let's look at this logically: the thing that takes the longest to cook should be cooked first and that is the chicken. Using a frying pan or electric griddle, use some low fat cooking spray then place the chicken into the pan. You don't have to spray that much because chicken is a naturally moist, kind of greasy meat as it is.
Ground chicken, depending on if it's fresh or frozen, should be at least separated and not pink when you drop the pasta in the water and fill a saucepan with the bottle of vodka sauce.
While you're cooking these, be sure to flip the chicken around a bit, adding the pepper medley and then covering it to ensure it stays moist and the spices permeate the meat. The meat needs the attention necessary to cook and not burn so you may want to turn the heat down at this point so it doesn't overcook. You'll notice the chicken in the video was a bit overcooked but not so much as to ruin everything. The chicken should be fully cooked at any rate by the time the sauce is heated.
When it is ready, pour the chicken into the vodka sauce and let it all simmer together while the pasta cooks. Cook it until it's firm enough or soft enough for your taste, drain the water carefully, and serve.

Honestly, this is not so much a recipe as it is basic instructions. For the next show there will be something a bit more complicated.

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