Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicken Florentine Pasta

This recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman, also known as Ree Drummond. Personally, I'm a big fan of her recipes, though she has a fair number of critics. I understand why her personal manner bugs some people, and I recognize that she sometimes uses an almost Paula Deen-esque amount of butter, but she also has some really great recipes. This recipe isn't overloaded with butter and is actually a good, light spring pasta dish. I bought fresh grape tomatoes and spinach from Eastern Market in D.C., which gave the dish a nice bright flavor.

1 pound Penne
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
3/4 cups Dry White Wine
3/4 cups Low-sodium Broth, More If Needed
1 bag Baby Spinach
2 cups Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
4 ounces Shaved Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
2. Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
3. Heat butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken chunks in a single layer and do not stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. Turn the chicken and brown on the other side. Cook until done, then remove chicken from the skillet.
4. Turn heat to medium. Add garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it's reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point.)
5. Turn off the heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, chicken, and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine.
6. Serve with extra Parmesan shavings.