Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chicken Pasta Operation Icebox

Dan claims this is an original recipe, but I think it's just a variation of Pasta Fazool and Pesto Sausage Desperation. He absolutely loved it and insisted that I post it on the blog. It is indeed delicious. The basic idea is protein (could be leftover meat) + pasta + miscellaneous color/flavor agents that do not require a trip to the grocery store = dinner.

1 package pappardelle or fettuccine (long wide noodles)
1-1.5 lb chicken breast
2 medium onions
1/2 c. roasted red pepper, chopped (i.e. from a jar)
1/2 bag/block frozen spinach
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 glugs dry vermouth
3 Tbsp. cooking oil + a dash olive oil
A few sprigs of basil and parsley from the garden, chopped
OR 2 tsp. pesto
2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Boil the noodles in plenty of salted water until just tender (they will cook more in the pan). Drain, reserving 1 c. of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, cut the chicken into cubes and toss them with salt and pepper and dried oregano.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan until quite hot, then add the chicken and brown on the edges, but do not fully cook through. Remove to a bowl.

Return the pan to high heat and keep it very hot through the next few steps. Add the onions and saute until they have toasty edges, tossing in the garlic and red pepper flakes part-way through. Deglaze with the vermouth and add the roasted red peppers and spinach, tossing them until the pan becomes dry again.

 Push the veggies to the edge of the pan and add the noodles. If they have become a solid glob, pour some of the hot noddle water over them to loosen. Allow the edges of the noodles on the bottom of the pan to crisp a bit.

Start folding the veggies into the noodles until they are well-combined. Toss in the chicken and the herbs or pesto. Once it has heated back through and the chicken bits are fully cooked, turn of the heat and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over the top (optional) and adjust the seasonings.

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