Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Creamy Lemon Chicken Pasta

We're starting a pretty intense, full person program later this week so we wanted to get some yummy, non-Whole30 meals out of the way...Jules suggested a creamy lemon chicken pasta (we have a bunch of Meyer Lemons we need to use).  The following is what I found, and after my doctoring, came up with.  Truth be told it was pretty spectacular!  The jury is still out on adding the Ricotta - it may have made the sauce a little grainy and runny, next time we'll try it without (in 70 days).


Prep Time:  5 mins                        Cook Time:  20 mins                     Serves: 6
Rich creamy lemon basil sauce with sautéed or grilled chicken tossed with pasta. 

1-2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Onion (finely diced)
1 lb. Chicken Breast (about 2-3 chicken breasts, cubed); can be pre-grilled and cubed
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
1 tsp. dried thyme or 5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 Garlic Cloves (finely minced or grated on a microplane)
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 ½ cups Heavy Cream or Half-n-Half
½ cup Ricotta (optional)
Lemon Zest (from one lemon)
1/3 cup Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. tapioca starch
½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil (cut into ribbons or torn)
1 lb. Pasta

1- Start by boiling water in a large pot.  Add a generous amount of salt to the pot of water. This will help to season the pasta.  Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain.
2- While water is heating up, in a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add chicken breast. Sauté for 7-8 minutes (if adding grilled chicken, add during Step 4 before adding salt to taste). Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Garlic can easily burn so watch it carefully. Season with Mrs. Dash and red pepper flakes (optional).
3- Add chicken broth and heavy cream or half-n-half. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. If you want more lemon flavor, add more lemon zest. Simmer for 3-4 min.
4- In a separate small bowl add tapioca starch to ½ cup of sauce and whisk until smooth.  Add back in to the pan of sauce and stir until incorporated.  Simmer for 3-4 min. more to cook roux. Taste sauce and add more salt, if necessary. 
5- Toss cooked pasta with sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil ribbons.