Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chicken Bolognese with Linguine

Ground chicken, dressed up with a mirepoix of veggies and served in a light sauce on pasta.

Chicken Bolognese with Linguine

As soon as I saw this recipe in the February issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, I knew it would be perfect for those chicken tenders in my freezer.

But, since the seasonings in the original recipe consisted basically of salt and pepper, I also knew that I needed to bump them up! I mean this is skinless chicken breast people - not the most flavorful part of the bird, ya know?

Oh, and before I get preached to about the recipe, no... this is not a traditional bolognese sauce. I beg forgiveness of Bologna, Italy, but hey, I didn't name it either!

If you don't have a food scale, it takes about 16 tenders to make up a pound, depending on their size. I used my food processor to grind the tenders - just rough chop them a bit and using the steel blade, pulse a couple of times. That's all it takes!

Course if you don't have a food processor, you can just finely chop up the chicken instead. You can also simply substitute already ground up chicken or grind up your own from whole chicken breasts. I really liked this dish using linguine, but you can certainly substitute your own favorite pasta, including regular spaghetti noodles.

I was afraid of overcooking the chicken so I didn't get a good browning on it. Next time I'll probably either take it there, or use something to season it that will add some color. Pale food still kinda freaks me out a bit! Ah well, color doesn't make a bit of difference y'all, cuz this is not only super easy, light and low fat, but it's delicious too.

Recipe: Chicken Bolognese with Linguine

From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 12 ounces of linguine (can substitute spaghetti noodles)
  • 2 large pinches of kosher salt for the pasta pot
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, crushed
  • Pinch of dried basil
  • Couple shakes of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can of whole tomatoes, broken up
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 10 turns of the pepper grinder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Small palmful of dried parsley

Put on a generously salted pot of water on for the pasta. When you drain the pasta, be sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. You'll need some of that later.

Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sized skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the chicken and lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 6 minutes or until there is no pink remaining. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.

Warm another tablespoon of the olive oil in the same skillet. Add the carrots, celery and onion and cook for about 8 minutes or until onions just begin to get soft and translucent. Do not brown them. Add in the thyme, basil, Cajun seasoning, and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pulse the tomatoes in the food processor a few times to break them up. Stir the tomatoes into the veggies; add salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cooked chicken, add the milk and heat through.

Drain the pasta, reserving at least 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the pot. Dump the sauce on top, add the Parmesan, parsley and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Toss to coat. If it is still too dry, add a bit more of the reserved pasta water.

Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.


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Posted by on April 25, 2009
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