Who doesn’t need a hand preparing dinner on occasion? Our weekends are very busy, and I rarely cook a meal because of it. Instead, if we aren’t ordering pizza, I am preparing some sort of frozen skillet dinner, or a frozen oven baked meal.
We have a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant in our town, but have never eaten there. I had seen their frozen “Complete Skillet Meals” in the freezer section of my grocery store, but never purchased them beause they retail for around $10.00. That price seemed exhorbitant to me.
Then one day last week I was shopping, and a gal was giving away samples of the T.G.I. Friday’s Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo version of their Complete Skillet Meals. I was actually shocked by how good this meal tasted! It was amazing, and the lady was also handing out $2 coupons, making the final price around $8.00, so I went for it. And I’m glad I did!
T.G.I. Friday’s describes this meal as cavatappi pasta in a creamy alfredo sauce with white meat and broccoli. Topped with cheesy herb seasoning. The bag states that the meal cam be ready in 15 minutes, another plus!
Directions are easy. There is a sauce pouch that you need to thaw out. The bag says to put it in warm water for four minutes, or thaw in a microwave on high for one minute. I used the warm water method, but it took much longer than 4 minutes to thaw the sauce. I probably had it in warm water for a good 6 or 7 minutes, and there were still large chunks that I had to break up.
While the sauce is thawing, you can start preparing the main portion of the meal. After heating one tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat for two minutes, you add the chicken and saute it for 4 minutes until golden brown. Then you add the pasta and broccoli and heat for an additional 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Last, you cut open the sauce pouch and pour it’s contents over the pasta, chicken, and broccoli, and cook for 4 minutes. The directions does say to confirm that the product’s internal temperature is at 165 degrees. Just before serving, sprinkle with the cheesy herb seasoning.
Both my husband and I really enjoyed T.G.I. Friday’s Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo. I had never eaten cavatappi pasta before, but it was delicious. According to recipetips.com, cavatappi pasta is a short s-shaped pasta tube that resembles a small corkscrew. It’s slender, spiral shape makes it suitable for serving with sauces, in salads, and in casseroles.
The pasta was done to perfection, nice and tender firm like pasta should be. There were several large chunks of chicken included, but I cut them up into smaller pieces. The broccoli florets were small and plentiful, and the sauce was creamy and rich. What made the meal was the cheesy herb seasoning, which had a lot of black pepper. Although my husband is a huge fan of pepper and hot foods, they aren’t my favorites – until I ate T.G.I. Friday’s Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo! This really is an amazing complete skillet meal.
I was also pleasantly surprised with the nutritional information on the bag, since I have been counting calories and fat grams. The bag contains three servings, and each one contains only 270 calories and 9 grams of fat. Four grams of fat is saturated fat, but there are none of the trans fats. The cholesterol weighs in at 45 mg, sodium isn’t too bad at 520 mg, it has 28 carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugars and a generous 19 grams of protein.
The meal also provides 6% of your daily allowance of vitamin A, 25% of vitamin C, 15% calcium, and 8% iron. This is definitely a meal I will purchase again, even if I have to pay the full price of $10.00 for it. It still gives me a break from cooking, it tastes homemade, and it is most definitely cheaper than dining out.