Maybe it’s innocence. Maybe it’s bravery. Or maybe it’s just simply youth-ish stupidity, but I had someone cook for me! A 12-year old made me her favorite dish: pasta peach chicken it’s called and yes, that is the particular order in which you have to name the ingredients of this oven dish! 😉
Over the years I had people respond in different ways when they learn they ‘have to’ cook for someone who had proper culinary schooling and is working as a cooking instructor. Like, me!
Some simply refuse to cook for me.
Others try to keep me out of the kitchen while they’re turning up the heat.
One friend simply makes me help out in the kitchen and usually gives me a task she doesn’t feel very confident in or wants to learn about.
But the 12-year-old daughter of my high school bestie dove right in. She came from the old country to visit us for 10 days, all by herself. A challenge, although not of her. For me, as she is a proclaimed picky eater.
I feel her mum has a great trick for picky eaters: if you cook one day a week, on other days you can swap out ingredients that you don’t like, with a maximum of 3. This girl doesn’t like potatoes, so she’ll get something else instead when that’s what they’re having for dinner.
(And this is the woman who laughted at me when she learned that my mum allowed me to eat potato salad instead of the boiled potatoes I detested so much when I was a teenager!)
Of course, I asked our young guest what she likes to cook and where she gets her recipes from. She told me about her favorite dish. One that I couldn’t get a clear image off when trying to picture it: pasta peach chicken. It’s running in her dad’s family for ages and she offered to make it for us.
We went shopping and without a list she knew exactly what to buy: a box of pasta, a can of peaches and 2 chicken breasts. Oh, and this cream cheese with herbs we use a lot in the Netherlands: Boursin (brand name). Usually she makes it for her family of 5, but wiggled it for the 3 of us.
I tried not to interfere in her cooking.
But I had to salt the pasta water and add some salt and pepper to the dish.
Pasta Peach Chicken
A great beginners dish as timing doesn’t really matter. Exact measures neither. As long as you have the cheese melt and crisp up properly on top of the dish while it’s in the oven, everything will be fine. If a 12-year old can wiggle a recipe, you should be able to do so too!
She used for dinner for 3:
2/3rd of a box/bag of pasta (we had shell shaped pasta)
1 1/2 chicken breasts
almost 1 can of peaches
almost 1 package of Boursin*
about 1/2 grated Gouda cheese (or any other good melting cheese)
salt and pepper
* We found Boursin in the small “European” section of the fridge at Ralph’s supermarket. But feel free to use any other cream cheese, ideally one that is flavored with herbs and/or garlic. The package we used was 5.2oz | 150 gr, so do your math.
Boil the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to boiling point and add 3/5 of a package of pasta to the boiling water. And a huge pinch of salt if you’re me. Cook the pasta until done (see package).
Sauté the chicken. Chop the chicken in bite-size pieces. Heat some oil in a wide skillet and add the chicken. Cook until done. Might want to add some salt and pepper here.
Make the sauce. Add about 3/4 quarter of the Boursin (cream cheese with spices) to the chicken. Drain the peaches, but catch up the syrup. Chop 3/5th of the peaches into small pieces and add to the chicken. Stir in just enough of the peach liquid to make it a thick, but smooth sauce.
Mix cooked and drained pasta with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 8x8in | 20x20cm baking dish. Great a lot of (young) Gouda cheese on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400F | 200C until cheese has melted.
Do you like chicken and am curious how I would cook it? Have a look at all my chicken recipes.