Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chicken with Lemon-Onion Pasta

I recently snagged a copy of Cooking Light magazine from the library with the intention of reading it on my lunch break at work. Truth be told, I generally work through my lunch (my anal retentiveness and all with trying to catch up on old projects), but I managed to skim it here at home.

There are several great-looking recipes I want to try, and I already have almost all the ingredients on hand. Bonus! This is one we had for dinner earlier this week, and we both really enjoyed how light it was.

Chicken with Lemon-Onion Pasta
Adapted from Cooking Light, Oct. 2010, p. 96

2 lg. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. (+/-) all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 1/2 tsp. jarred minced garlic
1/4 lg. onion, chopped
1/2 water
1 chicken bouillon cube (I prefer soup base, but this was all I had on hand)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I used bottled with great results)
Hot cooked pasta (I like angel hair)

Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt & fat. Drain and keep warm.

Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap or in a large, sturdy ziplock bag. Pound flat with a heavy skillet or meat mallet.

Place flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess.

Heat 1Tbsp. butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 (+/-) minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Melt another tablespoon of butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and a light sprinkle of salt; saute 4 minutes. Add water, bouillon cube and lemon juice; cook 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter. Add the pasta to the onion mixture; toss well to combine. Serve chicken over the pasta mixture.

Ok, so I definitely deviated from the original recipe. It called for leeks instead of onions, but I forgot to pick some up at the produce market and refused to pay $2.99 for 2-3 of them at the regular grocery store. Besides, anything from the garlic/onion family makes me happy, so I subbed the onion in with no problem. Also, I was lazy and didn't pound out the chicken breasts. I deeply regretted this early on when I realized that I'd have to add water to the chicken pan and cover to steam the breasts because they just weren't going to cook through without burning the outside. A nice crust formed on the outside, but I lost that when I added the water. It would have been even crazier-tasty with the crust still intact, so I don't recommend skipping the pound-out stage. Also, the original called for 4 breasts, 6 ounces each. I used 2 very large breasts, which could have easily been enough for 4 people had I pounded them out. Actually, I ate about half of the breast I'd made for myself and Buppy had the rest of mine for lunch with the leftover pasta the next day.

This recipe was pretty simple to make, and I loved how 'Spring-y' it tasted. Light and fresh from the lemon juice, and the sauce was barely there. Enough to lend flavor to the pasta, which we both thought would be bland, but it wasn't a heavy sauce that weighed me down after I was done. Next time, I think I might add some artichoke hearts when I start sauteing the onions. How delicious does that sound? Enjoy!

Sorry about the picture quality. I have my new fancy-schmancy camera but have yet to figure out exactly what type of lighting I need for the best quality shots. I'm working on it though!

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