Thursday, March 14, 2013

Citrus Chicken Pasta

Citrus Chicken Pasta
This is one of the first dishes I ever made for my husband Patrick and it is often one of his favorite dinner requests.  The citrus is slightly unexpected but very refreshing.  This is one of my go-to weeknight meals because it can be on the table in 45 minutes! (Check out my cooking schedule at the end of the recipe)

Makes 5-6 servings

For Chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
       (about .50 lb each)
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil,
1 teaspoon salt, separated        
1 teaspoon black pepper,    
     coarse grind, separated               
¼ - ½ cup white wine
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
       (about 1 lemon)
2 garlic cloves, crushed

For Pasta:
9 oz. gluten free spaghetti 
     (I like "Thinkyada" brand)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil                                                                      
1 ½ cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small zucchini)                                                 
1 ½ cups shredded carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)                                        
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine                                                                                                             
½ cup fresh grapefruit juice (about ½ grapefruit) (I like pink grapefruit)              
1 teaspoon orange zest                                                                                                
½ cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)                                                                         
1 teaspoon rosemary, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper, fine grind
½ cup parsley, chopped

                Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                Place chicken breasts top side down in a smaller baking dish (8x8 or 9 inch round baking pan). Drizzle 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on each chicken breast.  Then, season each side with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.  Flip over and repeat.  Pour the white wine along the side of the baking dish until the bottom half of the chicken breasts are submerged.  Then, add the lemon juice to the wine.  Place the 2 crushed garlic cloves in the liquid.  Bake for 33 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven.  Immediately, cover chicken first with parchment paper and then aluminum foil.  Let the chicken rest (in the “tent”) for 10 minutes before slicing.
                Meanwhile, bring a big pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Add a big pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil to the boiling water.  Add the gluten free pasta and give it a big stir.  Cook according to package instructions (some brands are different, but it is usually between 15-17 minutes).
                In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add zucchini, carrots, and minced garlic.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until just softened, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 1 cup white wine and turn down the heat to medium.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Then, turn the heat down to low.  Add grapefruit juice, orange zest, orange juice, lemon zest, lemon juice, and rosemary.  Stir together to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper, and parsley.  Then add warm pasta (pasta will absorb the most flavor when it is warm) and mix well.  Serve sliced chicken on top.  Enjoy!

Lauren Marie’s Tips:
*This is one my go-to ways to cook chicken.  It comes out flavorful, moist, and perfectly cooked!
*To make the sauce ahead of time, after adding the wine and cooking for 5 minutes, let the mixture cool.  Just before serving heat the sauce and add the remaining ingredients.
*The three different components to this dish (chicken, pasta, sauce) can all be made in just about 45 minutes start to finish.  I like to cook everything so all the parts of the dish come together at the same time.  For visual people, like me, here is the schedule I use:

 45 min:            Preheat oven,
 Season and bake chicken

30 min:             Put water to boil for pasta
 Prep vegetables, fruits, and herbs

15 min:             Put pasta to cook

10 min:             Take out chicken and let rest
 Start sauce

0 min:               Drain pasta, toss in sauce
                         Slice Chicken and Serve

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