Creamy Basil & Bacon Chicken

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I am not big on recipes as most of you have probably gathered by now if you have had a scour through any of my foodie posts... Nope, I am very much a "wing it" kind of gal. I like to experiment with ingredients and flavours, so apart from a few select "staple dishes" in my household, I seldom make anything in precisely the same manner more than once... but this is definitely one I will make again and whether you make it with traditional pasta or with zoodles as I mostly do, it is still a deliciously comforting plate of food.

I bought one pack of filleted chicken breasts and sliced them into strips about 1cm thick. I find if you do them too thin they tend to disintegrate and if you cut them too thick they are "too much of a mouthful". and then one pack of bacon bits. Personally I like the fatty bacon, because I am a huge fat lover! lol But buy a leaner cut of bacon if your prefer... Get a deep pan (or pot if you don't have a deep pan) heated and ready with a nice healthy dollop of olive oil...

Once the pan is ready to rock 'n roll, add the chicken strips. I season them lightly with a little bit of traditional chicken spice, salt, ground black pepper and a heaped teaspoon of chopped garlic (yes, I was lazy, but fresh garlic is always better) If you prefer to use fresh garlic, then I would say about two to three cloves should do it - depending on your level of love for garlic I suppose haha!

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I don't know about abroad, but here in South Africa there is so much damn "water/brine" injected into the chicken these days (free range or not) that it ends up boiling rather than frying - but in this instance it doesn't really matter because the end result is a creamy dish anyway, so you don't really need any successful browning...

While the chicken is cooking I get the extras ready... those being one sweet red pepper and one green. I slice them into long strips as well. I find that colour balance on a plate of food is SO important, so I always try and create a healthy balance of colour combination with the ingredients I select... Nothing is worse than a plate of food where everything is one colour. lol Unless of course it is done intentionally that way, like an "only green salad" - those are visually "STUNNING" and I make them often. I suppose this obsessive behaviour must be the graphic designer in me... haha! Time to roughly chop up the fresh basil. There are few herbs that smell better than basil when freshly chopped. If I was to pick one it would probably be mint, or perhaps lemon thyme.... YUM!

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Once you have finished all the "chop chop chop", the chicken should be cooked through and you can add the chopped sweet peppers, chopped basil and the bacon... Give it all a good stir, stick on the lid and leave it on a medium heat for approx. 20 minutes.

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While that is busy, I generally get the creamy sauce aspects all sorted... I do this in two separate parts. First I mix two heaped dessert spoons of all purpose flour with about a cup of milk - shake it up and put it to one side. In addition (but added separately) I use a 250ml tub of fresh cream. The reason I don't shake the fresh cream with the flour into a paste is because the cream just turns to stodge instantly. (I speak from experience lol)

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Once the chicken is ready, you can add the flour and milk mixture to the pan and then the full 250ml of cream. Leave the pan on the medium heat whilst you do this as the heat is what will get it to a nice medium thick creamy consistency. Once you have that consistency, turn the heat down to a simmer.... or lower.

give it all another good stir, pop the lid back on - remember to make sure that the heat is DOWN and bob's your uncle! You can leave that on VERY low until you are ready to serve it, and the longer the better as not only does it get the chicken wonderfully tender, but it allows time for all the flavours to develop.

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Now you can get your base ready - whether it is traditional pasta, rice, or the zucchini pasta which I will be using. Served with a little bit of avocado pear, a few feta cheese crumbs and a bit of chilli sauce for good measure :) Enjoy!

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❤❤❤

Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
Jaynielea

FOUNDER OF THE POWERHOUSE CREATIVES & STEEM SOUTH AFRICA

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Another good one! You're really giving a new life to my normal meal rotation. And I made that avocado pea dish you gave a couple of days ago. We loved it!

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hehehehe Well I am thrilled to hear that I have managed to inspire you! I have struggled to find inspiration in the kitchen lately... but I go through phases...

You are really good at this stuff. I would love to follow your directions but I can't get these ingredients :( Great pics nonetheless.

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Well!!!! That gets comment of the year! Thank you! You know, I do not consider myself "great" in a kitchen - it is simply a passion and love of mine, so having you say those words to me.... means a hell of a lot! Thank you!

As for the ingredients... there are always good substitutions. Which ingredients are you referring to @gooddream?

Wow! You may not fancy yourself as a recipe person but looks like you nailed that one.

The photography is so good and bright I may have to hire you as a food photographer if we I’m open an SA branch of our marketing company.

Awesome!

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haha thanks Zeke! xxxx LUFF YOU!!!!

This is the second stir-fry-like-dish I've come across today, and like the other, it's making me somewhat hungry. grrrr.

I see you added avocado too! Love it. Avocado is one of my favourite foods too. Works great in a bacon-lettuce-avocado sandwich too.

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Avo works with EVERYTHING! because AVO is AWESOME!

AWESOME AVO!

This recipe looks so yummy! I’m like you — I may glance at recipes for ideas and the general amount of spice recommended, etc, but I rarely follow them to the letter. I have always cooked, so I have a good sense of flavor matching and I love to experiment, taste and correct. Now and then my little lab experiments don’t turn out so well, but those instances are no more frequent than actual recipe failures where I’m left wondering why someone took the time to record all those ingredients and steps and print them in a book when they are a flavor disaster.

Is “Bob’s your uncle” an expression? I need to look that up! 😆

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Cooking is an art all on its own! And yes haha I to, share that sentiment with many recipes I have actually followed. lol Perhaps they dont actually expect anyone to follow the recipe. :D
hahahahaha!!!!!

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I know people who follow recipes to the letter and actually use measuring cups for their intended purpose! 😆 I’m either too impatient or over-confident, or perhaps some combination of the two.

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hahahha The artist in me simply doesn't allow me to care enough!

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Oh my this looks amazing @jaynie :) I too have the same problem, rarely make anything the same way twice, lol It makes it a bit tough when my daughter asks me how I make that special dish she just loves.... oh well its all personal preference any way right? Lovlely photos, I'll have to try this, I know the family would love it!

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hahaha Thanks @birdsinparadise! I have found that documenting what I do in the kitchen here on Steem has helped me a lot. There are many times I am in the supermarket and will google one of my articles to remember what I did haha!

your post looks so impeccable that it provokes to cook in this way and even more provokes to eat all that. I congratulate you and I confess to you that I would like one day to do something so clean, clean and at the same time simple.

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Thank you hon and you know what they say - where there is a will, there is a way :)