Brent’s Special – Chicken Cavatappi

This simple, 30-minute meal is sure to become a family favorite and a staple in your meal rotation! Brent Russell, our Director of Dining Services, chose this comfort food as “Brent’s Special” for June because it’s sure to make your taste buds want more. Check out the simple step-by-step recipe below to recreate this mouthwatering meal!

“While it’s not the healthiest, it’s worth ignoring your guilty conscience for because it’s delicious,” notes Brent.

This recipe will make 6 servings.

What you will need:

  • 6 chicken breasts
  • 3 cups uncooked cavatappi
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs bacon fat
  • 1 Tbs flour
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 3 Tbs grated parmesan
  • 1 oz sun dried tomatoes
  • ½ gallon 2% milk
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
Chef Brent Russel cooking in kitchen, Three Pillars assisted living
Chef Brent Russell in the Three Pillars kitchen

How you make it:

  1. Using a braising pan over medium heat, sauté the onion with the garlic in bacon grease until the onions are lightly brown and transparent.
  2. Mix in the flour to create a roux (paste-like texture).
  3. Add the milk, stir in to create a cream sauce.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, except the tomatoes and spinach. Simmer, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Grill the chicken and slice the tomatoes. Add grilled chicken, tomatoes, and spinach to cream mixture. Stir frequently.
  6. In a stock pot, cook the cavatappi pasta until al dente.
  7. Once the pasta is al dente, add other dish to the pasta.
  8. Garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.