Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken and Spinach Farfalle

Well, it's official. Either the end of the world is near or I have had a good spell cast on me by a culinary genie. Because I've actually made a recipe from a cookbook that I did not need but bought anyway, rationalizing it as being meant to be due to the living social amazon gift card deal. And I did all of this within a week of getting the book. Plus I've already earmarked several recipes that I want to try in the future. That is the sign of a good cookbook find.

Although, if I have to be honest, this recipe sounded delicious and it wasn't really as hard as I had thought it might be to motivate me to get up from my computer desk and into the kitchen. This is a super simple recipe even for someone who is having a semi meltdown about work issues and trying to figure out where Office 2007 is hiding on the computer anyway because I'm trying to take a online computer course all at the same time.

The recipe called for the spinach to be added at the last minute, shortly before tossing, I cooked mine until wilted in the sauce and then added all of the remaining ingredients at the end. This recipe has some good, simple flavors and even better, plenty of leftovers so I can eat healthier for the rest of the week and stay out of the beguiling snare of McDonalds.

My only glitch (which I discovered while typing the post up) was that I completely missed the part about cutting the chicken crosswise before cooking. I ended up browning the chicken in the skillet and then sticking the chicken in the oven to finish cooking. 

Chicken and Spinach Farfalle 
Adapted ever so slightly from: The Best Simple Recipes from America's Test Kitchen 
Serves 4

2 bonless skinless chicken breasts (approximately 3/4 pound) - cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
salt and pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 tbsp juice from 1 lemon
1 pound farfalle
1 6oz bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pine nuts (omitted in recipe above)

Bring 4 quarts of water to boil.

Pat chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium high heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink, about 3 minutes, and transfer to plate.

Add garlic to empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and spinach leaves until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

Add 1 tbsp salt and farfalle to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reseve 1/2 cup cooking water, drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce, parmesan cheese, pine nuts (if using) and cooked chicken to pot. Toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper before serving

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