Saturday, March 22, 2014

Chicken Cheese Ravioli

4   ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 1/2  cups milk
1  cup grated Parmesan cheese
2  cups cooked chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1  cup frozen broccoli, thawed & drained (chopped or florets)
1  box (7 oz.) Parmesan cheese filled Ravioli, cooked according to package directions

Heat the cream cheese and milk in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the chicken, broccoli and ravioli to the skillet and toss to coat.  Heat through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.
Martha:  I found a recipe for Chicken Parmesan that used canned chicken and egg noodles.  I use canned chicken only when I have to so since I had plenty of chicken in the freezer I cooked up a couple breast halves and used that instead.  I had egg noodles but when I spotted a box of ravioli with parmesan cheese I decided to make the change.  The original also called for English peas which I substituted with broccoli.  I didn't cook my broccoli because I like the crunch and taste.  You could use fresh broccoli with this and make it even better but at the time I only had frozen.  This dish turned out wonderful!  The combination of the different flavors was balanced perfectly.  You can, of course, make your own changes or go back to the original recipe using the noodles and peas.    
Food Tester Carol:  Whenever I have eaten Alfredo sauce dishes in the past, I feel discomfort from their richness and heaviness later.  Martha’s Alfredo recipe is lighter than usual.  It is made with milk and cream cheese instead of the traditional heavy cream.  The cheese ravioli rounds out the dish and provides a tangy counterpoint to the cream cheese in the Alfredo sauce.  The broccoli in this dish is not pre-cooked so it  maintains some crunch as it warms in the sauce.  Be prepared for the excitement of following the varying subtlety of flavor.  Eat this dish slowly so that you can appreciate its depth of flavor. 

Lillian:  Wonderful!  I love Alfredo Sauce but limit myself to once or twice a year of indulging because of the richness and high fat content.  This is marvelous and, since I only use the 1/3 fat cream cheese, it is even healthier.  Martha, you have created a real winner.!

Tips:  All olive oils are not the same.  This versatile oil, made form pressed olives, is sold by grade from “pure” (a blend of lower and higher-quality oils) to “extra virgin” (the richest in aroma and flavor).  Color also indicates a flavor difference.  Green to greenish gold olive oil tastes slightly sharp.  Golden olive oil has a more delicate flavor.