Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms and Shallots

I got off my behind and cooked an actual meal tonight, instead of having sandwiches or take out. It was good too. I need to remember that when I get hit with the "I don't wanna's." Dear Sara - you're a good cook. You make good food. It's better for you than fast food, even when you use butter. Promise.

The ingredients:

A container of cremini mushrooms (I forget the size), some olive oil, a pat of butter, parsley and basil, garlic, two shallots, pasta (I love these Piccolini mini farfalle - so cute!), and a can of tomatoes. Yeah, I know, but fresh tomatoes were crazy expensive last time we went to the grocery store, and canned tomatoes were super cheap. I got the kind without high fructose corn syrup, but this is still not a habit I want to get into.

I know there's a box of chicken broth in the photo but I didn't end up using it. Oh, and you need some chicken! Duh! That didn't make it into the photo. I used five boneless, skinless tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces.

You're going to want to peel and chop five cloves of garlic and two shallots. I hate when recipes call for "a shallot" because there is such a huge difference in size between these things! This is what I used. It ended up being 3/4 cup chopped. Do yourself a favor and check out Pioneer Woman's tutorial on how to chop an onion. Then say "PSHAW" and buy yourself one of these. I don't allow many uni-taskers in my kitchen, but I love this thing. It makes short work of dicing onions and you don't get all teary-eyed.

Start off by setting some water to boil and cooking your pasta. You probably know how to do that already, but if you don't, the directions are on the box. :)

Put a few tablespoons of olive oil and the pat of butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add mushrooms, stir to coat, then leave them alone for a couple of minutes! You want them to brown and get a little color, and they won't do that if you keep stirring. When you see them starting to get color, go ahead and stir, then let sit for another couple of minutes. Do this until the mushrooms start to all look cooked. Add in the can of tomatoes (with the juices), two teaspoons of dried parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil. If you have those herbs fresh, by all means, use the fresh ones instead!

Use the juices of the tomatoes to deglaze the pan, scraping up all those lovely brown bits on the bottom. Let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, then remove it from the skillet and set aside.

Add another couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan, and when it's hot, add the diced chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Much in the same way you let the mushrooms sit for a few minutes in between stirring, do that with the chicken. Allowing it to brown will add more flavor to your finished dish. When the chicken is cooked through, add the mushroom and tomato mixture back to the pan. Use the remaining liquid to once again deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom. That's flavor, baby! Allow the mixture to heat through.

Serve on top of cooked pasta with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. This was nice dish for this transitional time between summer and fall because it had all the good flavors of comfort food without being too heavy. It's a nice, surprisingly light accompaniment to the pasta.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Little Miss Can't Be Wrong said...

hi, little miss m, i've tagged you in some blog fun: http://howimetyourfatherblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/lucky-bunny.html

7:47 AM  
Blogger One Day said...

Ohh...my husband would love this! I bet I could make a veg version and it would be so good!

10:15 PM  

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