Phantom of the Opera Garlic Penne Pasta Chicken

For almost five years, 2007-2011, I lived above the beautiful Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio, Texas.

While I enjoyed having the restaurants and River Walk in my “backyard,” my favorite place to dine was just a couple of doors down at E. Houston Street Bistro.

Razmik Boghozian, proprietor of the restaurant, lived a few floors above me at The Majestic Towers. We became good friends and at one point before his death in 2016, he estimated I had dined there over 925 times.

I had Spurs basketball season tickets and Razmik would occasionally pull himself away from his bistro to join me at a game. It was a sure thing he wouldn’t go if there was a concert, Broadway play or some other popular event at the Majestic, Empire or Aztec theaters.

Although most of my meals were lunch, several nights a week I would entertain friends at the Bistro. Razmik’s attention to detail was immaculate.

One of my favorite dishes was his “Phantom of the Opera Garlic Penne Pasta Chicken.” He was kind enough to share his recipe when I moved away. RIP Dear friend.

Ingredients

  • 1(1 lb) box penne or (1 lb) box penne rigate, cooked as directed, drained and kept hot
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 4 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  • In a deep skillet, fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to a paper towel to drain, then chop.
  • In the same skillet, add the chicken and season with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika. Cook until no longer pink inside.
  • Add the garlic and cook until softened.
  • Add spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach is wilted.
  • Melt butter and add garlic in a medium sauce pan.
  • Cook over medium for 1 minute.
  • Add flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in broth and milk and cook, stirring frequently, until sauce boils and thickens.
  • Add parsley, salt, pepper and cheese.
  • Stir until cheese is melted.
  • Add bacon and chicken.
  • Toss hot pasta with sauce and serve immediately.

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Wisdom and Cleverness

Texans Jack & Dodie View All →

Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Music
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Actors
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Space Explorers
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
Notables
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.

As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.

He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.

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