Crew’s Mess: by Capt. John Wampler
Recently, I delivered a Viking 52 C from Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico, to Miami with Capt. Devon Tull as my co-captain. We pulled into Turtle Cove Marina in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, at the start of a four-day blow. We enjoyed a nice post-bash dinner at Mango’s Reef, but the bill came to $114 for two. On crew pay, that’s nice after a hard nine-hour run in 15-20 knot head winds, but it’s a little too much on the per diem side to maintain during a weather delay.
Providenciales is a terrific layover. Most everything a transient boat would need can be found here. A large DIY hardware store and a well-stocked NAPA store take care of the boat needs. The Graceway IGA is a modern supermarket that has everything I need for this dish, and more.
This simple one-skillet meal is super easy to make with just a couple of store-bought items. And you won’t have to tip the waiter.
2 tablespoons Italian dressing (not the creamy kind)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
10 oz. small-/medium-sized penne pasta
One 16-oz. jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
Fresh chopped parsley as garnish
Heat chicken and Italian dressing in a large 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. (If you don’t own a large skillet, you can use a stock pot). Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook chicken until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes depending on thickness of chicken.
Add the box of pasta and the entire jar of Alfredo sauce. Fill half the empty jar with water and add to the skillet. If using a stockpot, use 2 cups water.
Add the salt and pepper to taste and the dried oregano. Lightly stir the mixture to combine.
Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender to your liking.
Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes. Cover with grated parmesan and then shredded mozzarella. No need to stir.
Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is fully melted. You can also broil the entire skillet for about 4 minutes to make the cheese extra melty!
Top with chopped parsley and serve.
Capt. John Wampler (yachtaide.com) has worked on yachts for more than 30 years. His recipes are casual enough for anyone to prepare. Comments on this recipe are welcome below.