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Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chicken

Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chicken

Not every meal can be made with fresh ingredients, although probably our European counterparts might argue otherwise, especially the French.  But then again, this from a country where even ordinary people have 4 weeks vacation and probably don’t work till 6 or 7:00pm every night.  So since we Americans like to work so much, we have to compensate by making up the time somewhere else, like preparing the evening meal.  Of course here in NYC where people routinely work late, they just don’t bother to cook;  You can hardly find a kitchen in The City that doesn’t have a drawer, box or folder full of take-out menus!  Anyway, this recipe is for those times when getting dinner on the table quickly is a necessity.   Paired with some pan-steamed broccoli, this makes a lovely weeknight meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb penne rigate (or any lined pasta) cooked per pkg directions

1 24 oz jar of Vodka Sauce

1 TBS olive oil

1 pkg (2 breasts) of garlic marinated chicken breasts**

1 TBS basting oil*

1 TBS butter

4 tsp shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

* Basting oil (Wegman’s) can be made by adding garlic powder, thyme and parsley to canola oil

** Wegman’s sells the chicken breasts already marinated, you can do so the night before in some  olive oil, garlic, lemon juice.  Forget the fennel unless you have some.

DIRECTIONS:

Simmer sauce on low in small saucepan.

Heat olive oil in large pan on MEDIUM-HIGH, until oil fairly smokes;  add chicken. Turn over when chicken changes color one-quarter of way up and seared side has turned paper-bag brown, 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to MEDIUM; cook chicken 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165°.

Add basting oil and butter to pan; swirl.  Baste chicken with spoon, 1-3 minutes. Transfer to clean platter. 

Toss pasta with warm sauce. Divide evenly on 6 plates, top with sliced chicken. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  I used a platter (family style).

Recipe from Wegman’s Menu magazine

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