Friday, 5 December 2014

Chicken, Bacon, Leek and White Wine Winter Pasta Bake

Readers, I was recently sent some alcohol free wine by the people at Eisberg.  Now before you all look aghast and say “why bother?” It does have its benefits.

As a designated driver at a dinner, there’s only so many Diet Cokes you can stomach before it all gets a bit much. At least with a glass of this it feels like you are part of the party.  The funniest response I got from someone was, at least if you were pregnant you could hide it filling up your glass with this…  Perhaps not the first thing that sprung to my mind!

Anyway, Eisberg sent me a couple of bottles to experiment with.  The real selling point for me was the calorie count  - at 34 per 125ml glass, you can have several!

I was making a rather indulgent creamy pasta dish and I managed to make it slightly healthier by using low fat cheese, semi skimmed milk to make the sauce and the alcohol free wine helped bring those pesky calories down as well.

I’ve included the recipe below for you.  It’s a perfect midweek winter meal.

Chicken, Bacon, Leek and White Wine Winter Pasta Bake

Ingredients – serves 3

1 large chicken breast, diced
1 large leek
200g smoked bacon lardoons
150g reduced fat cheddar
25g butter
1 heaped dessert spoon plain flour
300ml milk (to make the white sauce)
120g macaroni
1 large glass Eisberg Riesling
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Firstly cook your pasta, drain and set aside.
2. Grate the cheese onto a plate.
3. In a separate pan, fry the chicken and bacon until browned (5-8 minutes).
4. Slice the leek and add to the frying pan.  Once coated in the fat from the meat, add your glass of white wine and bring to the boil.  Cook for 5 minutes until the wine has reduced down.

Chicken, bacon and leek in the pan
5. Meanwhile, make your white sauce by melting the butter in a non stick pot.  Remove from the heat and add the flour.  Mix until a paste is formed.  You may need more or less flour depending on the consistency.  Add a little milk and transfer back to the heat.  Continuously whisk to avoid lumps forming in the sauce. Add the remaining milk when back on the heat and bring to the boil.  Cook out for several minutes.
6. Once the sauce has thickened add in half the cheese and stir to combine. 
7. Add the pasta and sauce to the pan with the chicken, bacon and leek.  Mix around to combine all ingredients.
All the ingredients in the pan

8. Heat the oven to 180c (fan).
9. Transfer all ingredients to an oven proof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.

10. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese has gone golden and crisped up.

11. Serve immediately with garlic bread and a glass of Eisberg Riesling. 
chicken, bacon, leek pasta

Disclaimer: I was sent two bottles of Eisberg wine for my review and enjoyment.  Any opinions expressed are my own.

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