Easy Chicken Manicotti

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  I remember my first pair of glasses.  They were little gold cat eyes and I was 5 years old.  I loved those glasses.  I’ve been through many a pair since then in my 50 plus years.  For some reason 50 plus sounds a lot older when you are writing it down.  My glasses had a rough day today.  I was taking them off, with both hands mind you, and the left leg broke right off. Only a person who has to wear glasses can understand the mild panic one experiences when something bad happens to them. I’m almost blind without them, like a -8 something or a -9 in each eye with astigmatism and bifocals, so I HAVE to have them to see ANYTHING.  With tears in my eyes and broken glasses dangling (Man, I hate dangling.  I love that line from The Lion King.  Watch it here.). from one side of my face, I tore through my nightstand to see if I had kept my old pair.  Top drawer-nothing.  Bottom drawer under everything-I found a little black glasses case with my saving grace in it.  What a relief!  I can see!!  And just in time to make dinner.

This chicken manicotti is so easy.  How easy is it?  It’s SO easy.  You don’t have to boil the noodles or cook the chicken! You stuff the uncooked noodles with the season uncooked chicken, smother it with sauce and cheese, cover it with a double layer of aluminum foil and everything cooks in the oven.  You start with an equally easy homemade marinara sauce.   Easy Chicken Manicotti

Marinara:

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 tsp. finely chopped garlic

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

pinch red pepper flakes

15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

8 oz. can tomato paste

1/4 cup white wine, optional (I didn’t have any so I omitted it)

3/4 cup water

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

8 uncooked manicotti noodles

1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 8 pieces or 8 chicken breast tenderloins

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

4 – 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (1-1 1/2 cups)

Heat oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat.  Add the onion.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the wine if using.  Stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add the Italian seasoning, tomato paste, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook and stir for a minute or two.  Add the diced tomatoes and sugar.  Stir and simmer on medium low for 20 minutes.  Add the water.  Stir and turn off the heat to the burner.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with non-stick baking spray.  Add two or three large spoonsful of sauce to the pan, enough to cover the bottom.  Season the chicken pieces with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Push one piece into each uncooked noodle.  Place the noodle in the pan on top of the sauce.  Repeat with the other seven noodles.  Cover the stuffed noodles with the remaining marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan and then top with the mozzarella cheese.  Cover tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray so the cheese won’t stick to it.  Cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Carefully remove the foil.  Increase the oven heat to 425 degrees and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Wishing you love, laughter and cake,

Glenda

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About glendaclark

Hi there! My name is Glenda and I love food. Cooking and baking are my creative outlets. You'll find me in the kitchen laughing, singing, dancing and cooking or baking. I'm wife to my green eyed Irish guy, mother of four and grandmother of four. These are the chronicles of life as Glenda, the good witch of cake. Warning: may contain cartoon moments, butter and sugar.

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