Two Years Ago: Arroz Con Pollo
As the weather turns cooler many of us start to crave rich, hot cheesy pasta dishes. Unfortunately, they're usually full of fat and calories. I recently came across this dish on the menu of a local wine bistro and was attracted to it for three reasons: it fulfills the hot pasta requirement, I love lemon, and it sounded much lighter than a typical spaghetti or lasagna. I re-created it at home and was very happy with the results - it's very lemony and tastes rich even though the sauce is much lighter than a red sauce. The herbs add a pop of fresh flavor and the rotisserie chicken is moist and meaty. The entire meal takes less than a half hour to prepare, so it qualifies as a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Really, who doesn't like lemons?
I made it a little extra-special by using this fun egg tagiatelle with cool edges I found at the store, but you could use regular tagiatelle or pappardelle or even linguine or fettucine.
Buying pre-shredded rotisserie saves even more time than buying a whole rotisserie chicken and shredding it yourself - many stores now carry it in their deli or on their salad bar. All you have to do is make a quick pan sauce while the pasta cooks, then toss the pasta with the sauce and herbs and top with chicken.
It not only satisfied my pasta cravings, it somehow managed to do so without the help of any cheese at all. That's saying something.
Chicken Limone Pasta
½ - 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
6 ounces dry pappardelle pasta (or spaghetti or linguine)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of a whole lemon
2 tablespoons capers
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs (parsley, chives, thyme, etc.)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until just al dente – it will cook further in the sauce. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant but do not brown. Add wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add chicken broth, lemon juice and capers, then turn heat to medium-high and cook until reduced by half. Add remaining tablespoon of butter, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Add pasta to the skillet and cook on low for a minute or two, tossing to combine the pasta and sauce. Add the herbs and toss to combine right before serving. Serve in shallow bowls topped with chicken and lemon zest.