This is the first dish I’ve ever cooked from a recipe that I had never eaten. It came from a GQ article 5 years ago and I’ve been messing with the recipe for as long as I’ve been making it. My number one dish and a favorite of my friends. So I give you my chicken pasta.
Keep in mind that I cook everything to taste and work best when I am just ad-libbing it. Makes my cooking individual but harder to share…so I’ll do my best to try and explain the process.
There are 3 main components to this dish: Pasta, Chicken, and the Sauce (it is not really a sauce but I don’t know what else to call it).
I take a frozen chicken breast and cook it on the George Foreman grill because it is the fastest way to go from frozen to cooked…I usually use some sort of a complete seasoning or a mixture of salt, basil, oregano and pepper to season the chicken. At the same time I start a sauce pan on the stove on very low heat with olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the
pan) and then salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic (fresh if you have all those, but dried and crushed works too). It becomes almost a paste and I let it simmer while everything else cooks. Once the chicken and the sauce are going I start the water for the pasta.
I always use angel hair pasta, but that is just because I like it the best. I suppose you could use any kind of pasta. Once the water is ready I take a few tablespoons out of it and put it into the pan, always being careful to avoid painful splashes. I usually put enough in it to swirl everything around together but not too soupy.
I like my pasta firmer (al dente if you will) so I try and pull it off just a touch before I think that it will be ready and drain it in the sink.
Then, depending on how I feel that day (and how fast the chicken cooked), I either add the pasta to the sauce first and then the chicken or the other way around. It all gets mixed together so it really does not matter all that much.
Once everything is in the pan, I mix it all around and then try and let it simmer for a minute or so. The spices try and stick to the sides of the pan so be sure and mix it all in.
From here you can go a few different ways. I usually mix in some cheese (which usually depends on what you have, which in my case is only Parmesan). The only problem is that is clumps badly if you use a cheese that melts easily, so I’ll usually use either grated or shredded Parmesan. Sometimes I add the cheese before plating it, sometimes after. I guess it depends on mood and taste. I’ll then usually add some salt and pepper and then serve it (or
eat it by myself as the case may be…).
The best part about this dish is that it takes less than 15 minutes to make and it can be either a standalone dish or a side dish. I’ve used it as a side with salmon by leaving out the chicken and cheese, but it also works as a meal with those added to it.
And I’ve never added up any of the ingredients to see how healthy it is, but I figure using olive oil and the Foreman grill make it pretty reasonable. But mostly I just like it because it tastes good and is easy to make. And those are my two main criteria when cooking.
So get crazy with it (I’ve added shrimp, broccoli, and various other things on different occasions) or leave it stripped down. It’s versatile and enjoyable. Make it your own and wow all your guests.
Eat and be happy.