Now before I share my cooking experience with you, let me give two disclaimers: (1) The British version is nothing like the American style (ingredients, measurements, appliances, personalities - oh wait, what?); and (2) My improvisation skills have fallen greatly since living in London.
For the most part, I followed this Creme Fraiche Chicken recipe. Many substitutions and alternations were made, though not necessarily for the better. (I fully disclose my mistakes).
- 6 skinless, chicken breast fillets
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 8 oz. package of pasta (I used wheat penne)
- 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
- 2 cups creme fraiche (1 or even 1.5 would be good)
- 3 cups of spaghetti sauce
- 1 small ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (way too much cheese; 1/2 is more than enough)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil
- slices of prosciutto or thin Italian ham
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cook pasta in a medium saucepan of boiling water until al dente. Set aside and drizzle some olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
3. In the meantime, chiffonade the basil leaves. Chiffonade is just a fancy word for chopping basil (or other leafy vegetables) a particular way. Basically you stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice your knife through from one end to another, as if you were slicing a baguette.
4. Drizze a tablespoon of extra virgin oil into a large saucepan. Toss in the chopped garlic and basil. Once the oh-so-wonderful aroma of garlic starts to infiltrate your room, saute the chicken breasts until browned. Add wine and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
5. Pour in spaghetti sauce and creme fraiche. Combine sauce mixture with the pasta. Simmerrr.
6. Now, the assembly part. In a small casserole dish, layer the bottom with pasta. Sprinkle 1/2 of the amount of parmesan cheese. Put another layer of pasta. Top with sliced mozzarella. Place last layer of pasta. Sprinkle on remaining parmesan cheese. Delicately top 2-3 slices of prosciutto, and voila, it's ready for the oven.
|WAY too much cheese.|
7. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese top is browned and prosciutto is slightly crispy.
As you can imagine, and see, I went overboard on the cheese. And I love cheese! But I let my love overcome my better judgment. As such, the uber density of the cheese robbed the deliciousness of all of the other ingredients. I would have tried to make this again, but I just re-visited Wildwood instead.
Maybe you can try this flaw-riddled recipe, make your own changes, and find more success! Good luck.