Sunday, November 05, 2006

Linguine with Creamy Chicken Parmesan Sauce

Okay, here is a recipe that sounds really difficult but is actually quite simple, as long as you do a bit of prep before hand. It's just linguine with a wonderful savory (and very filling!) rich sauce with chicken, cream, herbs, and parmesan. You need shallots, garlic, chicken, oregano, basil, parsley, butter, cream, and parmesan (the Frigo wedges from Walmart and Albertsons work pretty well!) Oh yeah, prosciutto also!

Here is what you need to do for the prep work: Take about a cup of fresh oregano, basil, and parsley and chop them all very fine. Then, mince a large, or two small, shallots, and two cloves of garlic. I then took two frozen chicken breasts and sliced them across the grain, into almost paper thin strips. Also, take about four slices of proscuitto and slice them into tiny pieces. You will also need about four tablespoons of butter, in chunks, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a half pint of HEAVY cream.

Now, the rest is simple. Get the water going for the linguine and add some salt, oil, and crushed dried basil and oregano to the water. In a large, preferably non-stick, saucepan, add the olive oil, two tablespoons of butter, the shallot and proscuitto. Cook, on medium-high to high, until the onions are glassy and then add the garlic and chicken. Stir this a lot, as you don't want the garlic to get too done, and cook until the chicken is white and cooked through, then add about a cup of pinot noir (really, any red wine will do, as long as it isn't sweet!). Cook about twenty minutes until there is almost no liquid left.

Now pull the pan off the heat and turn the heat to medium. In the pan, away from the heat, add the cream, the rest of the butter, and about a half cup of shredded parmesan. Put back on the heat, bring it to temp, stirring all the while, and turn to low, stirring occasionally.

By now, the pasta should be ready, so scoop some onto a plate, add some sauce and a little shredded parmesan, and enjoy. For a side I just added some breaded fried eggplant strips, but add what ever you want, here's a good side though:

Quarter two fennel bulbs, core and seed a red bell pepper, drizzle olive oil on the peppers and fennel, and roast in a 425 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool a bit and dump into a bowl. Now add about a handful of chopped pecans and a quarter cup dried cranberries - drizzle on some balsamic vinaigrette, toss, and serve on the side. Mmm-mmm, don't that sound good now? Anyway, the pasta and sauce is really good and filling and the fennel and peppers give it a nice balance. Have fun and happy eating!!!


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