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Friday, July 11, 2014

Garlicky Pasta with Tuscan Chicken

You know those recipes you see and you keep going back and thinking One day I'll have the courage and energy to try that one? This is one of those recipes.

I read the ingredients list and thought it sounded like a meal that I used to order at Olive Garden. Garlic and herb chicken with broccoli. Lightly breaded chicken served over pasta, tossed in a light garlic, white wine, and Parmesan sauce with crisp broccoli.

This recipe did not disappoint. It had all of the flavors I was hoping for. I did make a tiny adjustment because I couldn't find arugula at the store. I swapped it for some fresh broccoli florets per the suggestion of the original post from Pink Parsley. I debated using spinach but decided that broccoli would be easier for Aaron to eat around.

This recipe comes together quickly and packs a punch of garlic flavor thanks to the 12 cloves of garlic but don't worry, it's not too overpowering. Also, as it's well known that I don't drink much and I can't stop by the liquor store for wine with Bailey I can say that this recipe was just fine made with white cooking wine from the grocery store. However, if you have access to a good dry white wine definitely go with it as the better the wine, the better the sauce.

Garlicky Pasta with Tuscan Chicken

Source: barely adapted from Pink Parsley

1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used tenders this time because that's what I could find at the store)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp olive oil
12 cloves garlic, minced (original recipe says thinly sliced but I really prefer the texture of minced garlic)
3 shallots, thinly sliced (optional, I left them out)
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
12 oz dry pasta shapes (I used rotini because the twisty shapes leave lots of crevices for the thin sauce to hide in)
1-2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice

If you're using large chicken breasts you'll want to begin by slicing them into 2-3 pieces each so that they will cook faster.

Cook the pasta according to package directions in a large pot of salted water while you're preparing the chicken and sauce. Once the pasta is cooked drain it, return it to the pot, add the steamed broccoli, and cover to keep warm.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

In a shallow bowl combine the garlic powder, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup of the flour. Stir it up with a fork to keep the lemon zest from clumping the flour.

Coat each piece of chicken with flour mixture and set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, gently place the pieces of chicken in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 6-8 minutes.

Flip the chicken using tongs and cook another 6-8 minutes on the other side.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to very low and add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until they begin to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the crushed red pepper flakes and remaining 1 Tbsp flour and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the wine and chicken broth and bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow to simmer on medium-high until the sauce has reduced to about 2 1/2 cups and has thickened, about 15 minutes. (Sorry, I lost some pictures here.)

Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce and pour the rest over the pasta and broccoli. I know it's missing the broccoli in the picture but I decided to serve Aaron's plate before I added the broccoli. Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice and toss to coat the pasta.

Divide the pasta mixture into 4 bowls. Slice the chicken if you're using chicken breasts and top the pasta with the chicken. Drizzle the reserved sauce evenly over the chicken.

Sprinkle a little more Parmesan over top and serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. Make me think I'm hungry when I am not. Looks delicious!