Chicken Veggie Pasta

Chicken Veggie Pasta

Chicken Veggie Pasta


I know. I know what you’re already thinking. “Oh look, another pasta recipe from this woman. Her blog should be called 101 ways to serve pasta each night.” It’s a harsh assessment but one that feels true from time to time. Still, bear with me because this really is a good pasta dish and it does depart from the usual red sauce theme. Actually, oddly to me this recipe is a way to stretch chicken, not pasta because you can make one (large) chicken breast feed four people. When I buy chicken I normally do so in roughly two(ish) pound packages. This lets me us 1.5 on one dish and gives me something to do with the rest of the chicken while at the same time freshening up my “pasta every weeknight” theme. So basically a win. Anyway, this recipe is simply cooked chicken strips with grilled veggies and pesto flavored white sauce. It takes a lot of pots, but is otherwise quite fast. Because of the ubiquity of cherry tomatoes and zucchini year round it isn’t really seasonal, although technically it probably should be. One could even put it in the “I’ve got too many cherry tomatoes category and I’ve hit my salad limit”, although that particular category doesn’t really exist for me since I’ve got three kids. My cherry tomatoes don’t typically make it out of the garden. I’m okay with that. Also note that you could, and I regularly do, use whatever veggies I have on hand. The whole cherry tomato thing is just a suggestion. Pick an assortment of two or three that you need to use up, pan fry and you’re set. Onward to the recipe.

Serves:4

Reheats: Well

Freezes: No

Kid Friendly Tasks: Cherry tomato taster

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Breast of Chicken
  • 1 large Onion, sliced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil

Any of the 2-3 of the following veggies:

  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 1 small Zucchini sliced into coins or diced into cubes
  • 1 small Eggplant, cubed (use extra oil if you pick this veggie)
  • 1 head Broccoli, about ½ lb, just the florets cut off
  • 1 small Summer Squash, sliced into coins or cubes

Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 1.5 c Milk, heated for 2 mins in the microwave right before you use it
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Pesto (or, if you don’t have pesto on hand 1 tsp dried basil or 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh. My sauce in the picture doesn’t look very green because I didn’t have true pesto on hand)
  • ½ c Parm Cheese
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 lb Pasta

Directions

  1. Start preparing pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat butter and flour together over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The goal here is to cook the floor in the fat so that it loses its taste (but not its ability to act as a thickener). Add the heated milk very slowly to the butter/flour combo stirring all the while. Keep adding and stirring until all milk is incorporated and, if you’re lucky, you have no lumps (if you get lumps anyway, just try to squash them with a fork and move on. It’s not worth remaking it).
  3. Add the oregano, garlic, pesto/basil parm cheese and some salt and pepper. Stir well to thoroughly mix those ingredients and turn the heat down to low. It can cook and thicken while you’re making the chicken layer.
  4. Take the chicken breast and butterfly it (so cut it in half so that you have two full sized, but half with chicken pieces) it’s okay if the butterfly’s wings don’t end up staying attached during this process. Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over very high heat and add the oil. Sear the chicken well on both sides (should take about 4 minutes per side roughly.) When you’ve flipped your chicken to the second side, add the onions and garlic.
  5. Once both sides are seared (it’s okay if it’s not cooked through) take your kitchen scissors or a knife and slice the chicken into long strips about ½ inch in width and throw them back into the skillet (this continued cooking is why you don’t have to worry if there were parts of the chicken that didn’t cook when you seared it). Immediately add the other chopped veggies and cook everything, still over high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it’s done to your desired level of softness (the timing may also depend on the veggie combo you pick. Cherry tomatoes take about two minutes; eggplant and broccoli closer to 8)
  6. Drain your pasta, plate it and add a layer of grilled veggies & chicken. Then pour the pesto/white sauce over top.

Enjoy!

 

Chicken Veggie Pasta

Chicken Veggie Pasta

 

 

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