Friday, August 26, 2005

Rosemary Basil Chicken with Spaghetti

This is one of my very own recipes that I made when I needed something quick for dinner. Fast and yummy chicken pasta.
  • 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3-5 medium tomatoes
  • rosemary, fresh or dried
  • feta (optional)
  • basil, fresh or dried
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
The best way to chop chicken is while it is partially frozen. It's more like chopping celery than like chopping over-ripe tomatoes. If your chicken isn't frozen, make sure you have a sharp knife.

While I was defrosting my frozen chicken(about two minutes on defrost in the microwave), I started a pan of water for the pasta. I chose spaghetti because we had just bought some. You could use any plain pasta. I always put salt and oil in the water. They help heat the water faster, season the pasta, and they help keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

I heated up another pan, my cast iron fry pan, of course. Once it was hot, I put in about two tablesoons of extra virgin olive oil (cause you only live once) . While that was heating up I chopped up the still mostly frozen chicken into one inch cubes. You can chop them up however you like. I made sure that the pan was good and hot before throwing in the chicken. This sears the outside to keep the juices inside, plus it makes it taste better. Start stirring right away to make sure that no side gets over-cooked and all sides get seared fairly evenly.

Once the chicken cubes are fully seared, turn down the heat to about medium. Make sure that there is still moisture in the pan to keep the chicken from getting dry. Add a little water if you have to. Mince two cloves of garlic and add to the chicken. Grind up half a tablespoon of rosemary and throw that in. Add about a tablespoon of basil- or more if you like. Add a couple of big pinches of sea salt (or regular salt, or garlic salt, whatever). I like sea salt because regular table salt is too harsh for my tastes, and sea salt gives the food a nice flavor.

The pasta water should be ready by now. Add the pasta, stir, reduce the heat slightly, and cover.

Dice up the tomatoes into thick chunks. Throw them into the chicken pan. I never peel tomatoes. Peeled tomatoes are for wusses. The tomato peels add a nice bright red garnish to the dish. Cook the mix down until the tomatoes make a pseudo sauce. Add a little black pepper if you like. I did.

The pasta should be done, or at least when it is done, drain and add to chicken mix. OR you can do it the lazy Sylvana way- just tong the pasta out of the pan you cooked it in right into the chicken mix pan. What's a little pasta water among friends, eh? Stir the whole thing together. For added zip, add a couple handfuls of feta cheese (good stuff, that feta). And serve.

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