Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I eat a lot of carbs

Tonight's dinner was yummy! I wasn't totally in the mood to cook when I got home, but this recipe sounded delish. Not sure if everyone has Krogers or not, but it is about the only decent grocery store around these parts. Anyway, they send me coupons and recipes pretty often - one of the perks of carrying their silly card around all the time. So, this one caught my eye because, well, I cannot get enough pasta and chicken dishes. Here it is, with some helpful hints

{pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and chicken}

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1/2 to 3/4 lb total)
3 ripe tomoatoes, seeded and chopped*
2 garlic cloves, minced*
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped*
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped*
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
6-8 oz uncooked linguini
1/4 cup parmesean cheese, shredded
*do all of the chopping and mincing before starting on the chicken cooking, otherwise, it sits waiting for a while. Trust me.

OK, first of all I doubled this recipe because the hubs likes to have leftovers for lunch and not the frozen microwaveable meals that he usually gets. Before I started, I gathered all the ingredients that I thought I would need out.

The basil is from my deck where I have some growing. (If you like fresh herbs, it is so worth it to grow your own. So much cheaper, and you don't have to worry about remembering to buy a bunch when you are at the store... like I did with the parsley). Also, please notice that the garlic cloves are ENORMO! I love garlic, so I used them both, but I would maybe not double the garlic in the recipe if you don't heart garlic like I do. I would not leave it out completely though, it brings out a lot of flavor.

BTW, the directions fail to tell you that the cooking will be very quick. So, prior to cutting everything up, I would have started to boil the water. I am super bad about reading the entire recipe first, and didn't realize that the rest of the food would be done and waiting on the pasta.

Back to the recipe at hand...
Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thickness. (2 things here... if you don't have a meat mallet, use something heavy like a rolling pin. Also, to save yourself from cleaning raw chicken off your counters and walls, put the chicken in a resealable freezer bag and then pound). Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive or canola oil (I recommend olive) over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sear until well browned on both sides and cooked to an internal temperature of 170 degrees, or about 5 minutes. (That time is pretty accurate).

In a second skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil, simmer the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper over low heat (I forgot pepper and it didn't make any difference). Add lemon juice until heated. Toss cooked chicken into the sauce. Keep warm.
prior to the chicken.

the breasts submerged. (he he)

At this point I realized that I needed to do the water and get it boiling. In my long career as a chef (I use the term very loosely) I have not figured out a way to get water to boil more quickly. As someone who took Chemistry and Physics in both college and H.S. I feel like this is something I should know. But I don't. So, I waited while the rest of the food was done and waiting on the stupid linguini. I have heard a watched pot never boils, but this seemed a little outrageous. This picture had to be taken 10 minutes after putting the water on.
To keep you interested... here is a teaser of the chicken in the sauce. I was drooling at this point because the everything smelled so good. I LOVE the smell of garlic and basil, separately and together.

Finally the water is boiling and the linguini is in the pot. The recipe continues to say...
Spoon sauce over hot linguini and sprinkle with cheese. Refrigerate any leftovers.
This was how I plated our dinner.

As you can see, I didn't have the shredded parmesean that the recipe calls for, I just used the cheapy canned stuff. To be honest, I didn't think that cheese was even needed. I cannot believe I just uttered those words... but seriously, save yourself some calories and leave it out unless you need it desperately. :) Anyway, the whole thing was super easy and super tasty. I think even the pickiest of eaters would enjoy this little dish. Let's go Krogering (so that I can get more recipes worth repeating)!
Now, time to finish watching Strasburg's debut and then the season finale of Glee!

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