The first time I made this recipe, I used rice because it's amended from another recipe that recommended rice as the starchy accompaniment. However this particular concoction came out of necessity, when I was fresh out of rice and absolutely lousy with pasta. It actually turned out to be just as delicious - perhaps a little bit better! As the old saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention." This recipe feeds two very hungry adults or 3 very hungry children.
15g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon garlic oil
350 − 400g chicken breasts or breast fillets/chunks
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
1 chicken stock cube
100ml boiling water
100ml double cream
Sea salt flakes & freshly ground pepper to taste
300g farfalle pasta (bow-tie)
1. Put on a pot of water to boil with plenty of salt and a drop of oil for the pasta. When it's boiling, pour in the pasta and cook it according the packet instructions, however check it a few minutes early to be on the safe side with getting the right texture. When it's ready, reserve a cup of the pasta cooking liquid before straining and returning to the hot pan off the heat with the lid on to keep warm.
2. While the pasta is cooking, you can get started with the chicken sauce. If the chicken isn't already cubed or cut into bite-sized pieces, do this first.
3. Stir 100ml of boiling water together with 1 chicken stock cube with a small wire whisk or a fork and set aside.
4. Melt the butter and garlic oil together in a non-stick frying pan or heat-proof casserole - make sure whatever pan you use has a lid. When it's hot and combined, add the chicken and stir-fry until browned on all sides, but not yet cooked through.
5. When the chicken is browned, stir in the lemon zest and chili flakes and let them sizzle for a second or two, stirring all the time.
6. Stir in the chicken stock and the heavy cream. Throw in a few good grinds of pepper and a pinch or two of sea salt flakes.
7. When the sauce starts to bubble, reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Leave the sauce to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
8. Once the sauce is finished, toss it with the farfalle pasta until every piece is thoroughly coated. If it's a bit dry, add the reserved pasta cooking liquid a teaspoon full at a time until the pasta is fully covered in sauce.
9. Serve with a few grinds of fresh pepper over the top of the dish.
*If you decide to serve this dish with rice instead of pasta, you may wish for the sauce to be a bit thicker since you're not coating pasta. After the sauce finishes cooking, add a few drops of juice from the lemon you zested, stirring all the time. When the desired consistency is reached, remove the sauce from heat right away.