15 Jun 2010 Lemon Chicken Pasta

The cooking lessons with my 19 year old son continue…, and he’s enjoying it more than I (and he) ever thought possible. We are having great success with one-dish pasta recipes. Here’s the latest, pasta with chicken in a light lemony-cream sauce. I was a bit unsure of the flavor appealing to 19 year old boys, but the three 19 year old male taste testers loved it. They had half for lunch–in between a gym workout and a pool workout–then came back and finished off the other half (washing it down with the leftover Blueberry Lemonade, which they also enjoyed). One friend asked me to send the recipe to his Mom. I’m not going to, but I will show him how to make this for her. Wouldn’t that be great for her to come home and find her son had made her a creamy chicken pasta dish for dinner? Maybe with some two-ingredient biscuits on the side? Awwww…

I’ve been making this for about 3 years now…, and I really have no recollection of where I got the recipe.

Lemon Chicken Pasta

For this recipe use leftover cooked chicken, or saute approx. 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (good for a college students budget) or chicken tenders in a bit of olive oil and butter (about 1 T. of each) for a few minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (and any other favorite herbs), cool for about 5 minutes, and then coarsely chop into cubes. Use as directed below.

1 lb. Penne Pasta (or any kind of pasta)
1/3 cup whipping cream
4 strips of peel from one lemon, plus the juice from the one lemon (2-3 T)
1 cup chicken broth (OR 1/3 cup white wine plus 2/3 cup reserved pasta water)
1 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water according to package directions. MEANWHILE, saute chicken as directed above. Let cool, then chop into bite-sized pieces. In another small pan, heat 1/3 cup whipping cream with the four pieces of long lemon peel. Simmer for about 1 minute, then remove and discard the lemon peel. Set the lemon infused cream aside. In the pan used to cook the chicken (or in a fresh, clean frying pan if you are using leftover cooked chicken) combine the chicken broth (or wine and pasta water), lemon juice, peas, and cooked chicken. Simmer for two minutes then stir in drained/cooked pasta, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve.

Makes 4 generous servings.
A small salad on the side would be a nice touch.

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