Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chicken in Lemon Cream with Penne

Courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis, from her new book, Everyday Pasta, with a few minor modifications from
1 pound penne pasta
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 t. herbes de Provence
pinch of salt, plus 1/2 t.
pinch of pepper, plus 1/4 t.
1 c. chicken broth
2 c. heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the cubed chicken breast with herbes de Provence and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and set aside. (Here, I actually seasoned and baked the chicken ahead of time [to save time], and added the juices from the baked chicken to the finished sauce.)
Pour off any excess oil from the pan. Add the chicken broth to the pan and cook over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the cream, lemon zest, and cayenne. (I let the lemon zest steep in the cream while I cooked the chicken.) Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pasta, chicken, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Toss to coat the pasta and chicken with the sauce and serve.

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