My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss

Our quest to reuse our leftovers continued on Thursday. After our pasty experiment, we still had some filling leftover. James got some chicken breasts and havarti cheese and made some delicious chicken rolls. We had two chicken breasts left over. Instead of freezing them, I decided I'd make something with chicken in a few days. So on Thursday, James and I decided to try Rachel Ray's chicken piccata pasta toss. I love anything piccata and I'm also in love with pasta, so this seemed perfect.

Prep for the sauce, all measured out
James went ahead and cooked up the two chicken breasts while I prepped for the sauce. I decided to wait to cook the pasta so it would still be hot when the sauce was done. Now, maybe I'm a wimp or maybe my eyes lack some sort of protection, because I cannot cut up onion, shallots, or even more than a clove of garlic without my eyes absolutely streaming. James makes fun of me, but I'm seriously considering getting myself some onion goggles from Bed, Bath & Beyond because I have to use the food processor to save myself. So I peeled and roughly chopped the two shallots and four cloves of garlic and put them in the food processor, which minced them up really nicely. Adding some more oil to the pan, we added the butter, the garlic and shallot mix and sauteed until they turned a nice shade of brownish-gold. We added the flour, but we did not cook for two minutes, since it clumped up and immediately started burning. So we added the wine immediately and let it reduce before adding in the lemon juice and the broth. If I were making this again, I would add more lemon juice, since I only put in about 3/4 of a shot glass. We then added the parsley and the capers (yum), and let that cook until the sauce started bubbling a bit. We then added the rest of the butter, to add a shine according to Rachel Ray, and the chicken breasts, which I had been cutting up into bite-size pieces while James worked on the sauce.
Sauce, pre-chicken

When I thought we had about 10 minutes left, I started the pasta (start it earlier!!). Though the recipe calls for 1 lb of penne, I used only 1/2 lb since that was about all our pot could safely hold. This ended up being a blessing in disguise since it made the pasta to sauce ratio PERFECT! If you like your pasta with a more substantial sauce, make just 1/2 lb, it's still plenty for two people. We kept the sauce covered and on low heat while the pasta cooked, then strained the pasta, put it back in the pot and added the sauce. We mixed it up and served it up in bowls to make it easier. Sorry for the lack of pictures of the finished product, but James and I were both pretty hungry by the time we finished. We both had two bowls of the piccata, which amounted to about 4 scoops from a pasta spoon each. (I actually had thirds because it was so yummy, but that was a bit too much food.) We still had enough left over for a full serving afterwards. If you're going to save it, be aware that when it's reheated, the sauce isn't as sauce-y, but it's still really good.

The aftermath
The aftermath of the dishes was pretty intense. We used about three cutting boards, a bunch of knives and all the little prep bowls I dirtied (though it did make life easier). It didn't take that long to clean up, and most of it went into the dishwasher. Either way, from someone who hates doing dishes, it was totally worth the mess we made! Let me know if you make it and find any other helpful tips!

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