Friday, October 23, 2020

Lemon Chicken Pasta

Lemon Chicken Pasta

This recipe is a regular staple in my house. I've been cooking some version of this for over a decade and like many things, it's evolved over the years, but I never get tired of it. It's simple, pretty easy to make and delicious. What's better is that it makes excellent leftovers.

If you're making this for children or you don't like spicy things, consider leaving out the dried chilli flakes. If you do like spicy food, I'd encourage you to perhaps double the amount of dried chilli flakes for a proper kick, especially on an extra cold day. Whatever you choose, this is delicious either way!

Ingredients:
300g Penne Pasta or any other short pasta shape, plus salt & a drop of olive oil for the cooking water
350 - 400g boneless, skinless chicken breasts chopped into bite sized chunks
 3 Tablespoons flour
Salt & pepper
3 tablespoons regular olive oil (plus more if needed)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
zest & juice of 1 lemon
250ml strong chicken stock (made from a cube or stock pot)
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving 

Lemon Chicken Pasta Recipe Photo

Method:

1. Put a large pot of salted water with a drop of olive oil on to boil and cook the pasta according to directions. I like my pasta a little al dente, so I usually start to check it one or two minutes before it should be done to get the consistency I prefer. Be sure to keep about a coffee cup full of the starchy pasta water before you strain it as you might need this later.

2. Put the flour, some salt & pepper and the chicken pieces into a large plastic resealable bag. Shake it until all the pieces of chicken are coated in flour. 

3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan that has a lid, add the garlic and cook for a minute or two. When the garlic starts to soften, add the chilli flakes and lemon zest to the oil and let it sizzle for another minute or so, stirring with a wooden spoon. Then add the chicken, turn up the heat to high and cook until it's brown on all sides.

4. When the chicken pieces are browned, add the lemon juice while scraping the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon at the same time to deglaze. Follow that quickly with the parsley and the chicken stock. Reduce the heat to low, stir, pop on the lid and simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally. It will thicken into a creamy sauce.

5. Pour the sauce into the larger pot with the strained pasta, scraping every last bit out of the frying pan with a rubber spatula and stir to combine. If it looks a bit dry or isn't coating well, add some of the pasta cooking water about a tablespoon at a time and stir until everything is well coated.

6. Serve in a warmed pasta bowl topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

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