Smoked Chicken Pesto Pasta - Nailed

Chicken pesto pasta is a classic, first made for Si and I by G - who used to whip up and serve an amazing casserole dish of this delicious pasta for parties in Abu Dhabi. I believe over the past little while, the whole KC household in AD are on the bandwagon and Dad has started making his own pesto for the dish. I had a play today and officially nailed my 'personal best' chicken pesto pasta. It sound a bit complex but its really not...

I smoked my own chicken while I was doing the dishes (no dishwasher!), literally took 20 minutes. 3 of work, 17 of doing dishes.

The Smoked Chicken

Make a wee bowl out of tinfoil, double layers is best, just the right size to fit into the bottom of a pot. Inside the bowl add
  • 50gm brown sugar 
  • 25gm loose leaf jasmine tea 
  • 75gm jasmine rice (uncooked) and mix. 
Place the bowl in the bottom of an empty put and put over medium heat until the tea starts to smoke. Turn the heat right down, place a rack over the tin-bowl (our microwave oven rack fits perfectly into our pot, luckily - you might need to improvise to make this work), place two raw chicken breasts on the rack and cover with the lid. Leave for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

The Pesto

'Pesto' is a derivation of the italian word for 'pounded'. Seriously, like all herbs, pesto gets its amazing flavour when you POUND the herb, not cut it. So unless you are going to mortar and pestle this - you're going to bastardise the recipe as much as the dudes to put it in a jar the supie. Don't blend, process or anything with a blade as you won't get the amazing 'bruised' fragrance and flavour.
  • a handful of finely grated parmesan cheese 
  • about 30gm pine nuts 
  • 2 small cloves of garlic 
  • as many basil leaves as you can fit into the mortar (a few cups) 
  • A big drizzle of olive oil 
  • A pinch of course salt 
Take to it with a pestle until it becomes a broken down paste - you know how it should look. I like to throw in more and more basil leaves as I go to bulk it up. It should go quite creamy too with the olive oil and nuts. When I made it today, the whole house smelled of basil - devine! It keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks but be aware that the garlic taste will get stronger with time.

The Pasta dough recipe is here but today we just used bought fresh pappardelle from the supermarket - couldn't be bothered!

The Dish

You need:
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 red chillies, chopped 
  • Cup - (+1/2) white wine (chardonnay is good) 
  • 10-15 mushrooms 
  • 1 knorrs chicken stock pot 
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream 
  • Pasta 
  • Toasted pinenuts
  • Pesto (about 4 tablespoons) 
  • Smoked chicken (thinly sliced) 
  • Fresh rocket
Fry the onion, chilli and mushrooms in a pan until the onion is caramelised. Add the glass of wine and chicken stock put with 1/2 cup water and allow to simmer until reduced by 50% (or mushrooms are cooked).

Leave to cool as you bring a pot of salty water to the boil.

Once cooled down a little, the stock, veg and juice should be rather thick. Add the pesto and sour cream. Stir and then lay the chicken slices into the pan, turning the mixture (not stirring so as to hold the chicken in nice slices) warm up slowly. Add your pasta to the boiling water. When the chicken and sauce reaches a simmer, turn off heat.

Once the pasta is done, pour off most of the water, leaving a few tablespoons in the bottom. Cut in 1/2 tablespoon of butter and then add to the chicken and sauce. Gently flip to mix and finely grate a little more parmesan over the dish. Add the pinenuts and throw in several large handfuls of rocket and gently flip again encouraging the rocket to wilt a little before serving.

Enjoy :)

No comments:

Post a Comment