Easy Lemon Pasta with Chicken (recipe by The Neelys)
This recipe sounded wonderful to me. Lemon, chicken, pasta…how could I go wrong. I found the recipe about a month ago on the Food Network website. It’s courtesy of The Neelys.
I had some lemon pepper pasta, so I substituted it for the penne. I also adjusted the recipe for 2 servings.
by The Neelys – This is the original recipe and it serves 3-5 people.
1 pound dried penne
2 chicken cutlets, cut into fingers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and slice.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and saute until fragrant.
Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off.
Mix all together. Remove pasta to a large bowl.
Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle in chopped parsley.
Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix.
Before serving, top with Parmesan
Since this recipe is called “Lemon Pasta”, I decided to use Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta that I bought at Trader Joes. It has a wonderful, lemon-peppery taste that went great with this dish. I used one boneless chicken breast and seasoned it with salt and pepper. To add a little zing, you could season it with lemon pepper. I think that’s what I’m going to do next time I make the dish.
I sliced the chicken into strips.
That old bone-handled knife belonged to my father-in-law. The blade is worn down pretty far from all of the sharpening over the years and boy is it sharp.
I started to cook the chicken before I realized the recipe called for a grill pan. Oh well, no grill marks, but it came out just fine. The recipe didn’t mention it, but I sprayed the pan with a little olive oil before I cooked the chicken.
Be sure to cook the chicken all the way through.
When the chicken was finished cooking, I removed it from the pan and kept it warm in the oven. I wiped the pan out and sauteed the garlic and red pepper flakes in the same pan. Saute the garlic and red pepper until that wonderful, garlicky fragrance is reached. Now it’s time to add the pasta to the pan and mix around.
Once the pasta is heated through, I added it to a heated bowl, then added the chicken, lemon juice and parsley. After adding those ingredients, I tossed the pasta to distribute the oil and herbs. (Yes, I heat my bowls and serving dishes before I add hot food to them. Keeps the food warm longer.)
I waited to sprinkle the Parmesan until after I plated the pasta and chicken in the serving dishes.
We really enjoyed this dish. I seasoned it with lemon pepper before eating it because I love lemon pepper. And since I like spicy, I added a little extra red pepper flakes, too.
Side Note: I’ve gotten into the habit of ladling out and keeping some of the pasta water before I drain pasta. A little drizzle can be used if a pasta dish is a bit dry for your taste. For this dish, another remedy would be to add a little extra oil to the pasta.
For a side dish, I found the most delicious recipe for Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese at the blog called jjbegonia. If you want to see some beautiful photography along with a wonderful recipe, go here.
I only had one pear, but jjbegonia mentioned in a comment that apples could be used as an alternative. I decided to use both.
The recipe calls for apple cider, but I didn’t have it, so I used cranberry-raspberry juice. Since there are dried cranberries in the recipe, I thought cranberry juice would be a good choice.
WARNING: Don’t walk away from the pan while toasting the walnuts. I was so busy taking photos of the food, I burned my first batch. To toast them, I heated them in a small Teflon-coated pan and stirred them occasionally. I chopped them after they were toasted. Go here for both the oven method and the stove top method for toasting nuts.
For the dressing, I only whisked a few drops of olive oil to the pan juices. We loved this dish!
Oh, and did I mention port wine is one of the ingredients? Yum…
Go to jjbegonia for the recipe. You won’t be disappointed.
Here’s my Roasted Pears & Apples with Blue Cheese on Spring Mix Greens.