A Sunday Christmas celebration brunch was moved up to a Saturday night dinner that included opening gifts and hearing about my kids’ trip to see friends and family down South, and I needed something quick that I could make with minimal effort or tending.
A friend suggested spaghetti, but my mom was coming, and she’s the spaghetti maker. It got me thinking, though. I had some great Pappardelle pastas from my local olive oil store that could be the foundation of a good meal. I had chicken in the freezer. Some goat cheese left from a previous recipe. Some spinach…. I plugged those things into my Pinterest search and got this great recipe from finecooking.com.
I decided to use my Rosemary Garlic Linguine, thinking the rosemary would pair well with the creamy sauce and chicken. When I reached into the freezer for the chicken breasts, I saw a bag of Italian meatballs — might as well simmer those in some red sauce, too, just for variety.
I made a few adjustments to the cooking logistics because I wanted to minimize the number of pans on the stove and leave everything simmering until we were finished visiting and unwrapping gifts. I first sauteed the chicken using Garlic Infused Olive Oil, transferred that to a pie pan to rest, then wilted the spinach with a little more olive oil. I moved the spinach to the pan with the chicken, then deglazed the saute pan with white wine (I used Chardonnay), added the minced shallots, and cooked until reduced.
The crumbled goat cheese took no time at all to melt as I whisked it into the wine. I omitted the pinch of red pepper flakes because my mom doesn’t do spicy. I also omitted the basil so it wouldn’t compete with the rosemary pasta. I transferred the whole chicken breasts, their juices, and the sauteed spinach into the saute pan with the sauce, covered and turned it down to the lowest setting.
By the time we were ready to eat, the sauce had thickened quite a bit. I sliced the chicken into bite-sized pieces, added a little more white wine and a little bit of cream and let that simmer for a bit before serving.
Everyone loved it. The chicken was tender, the sauce had a rich flavor, and the rosemary pasta was the perfect foundation. My teens agreed we should add it to our regular weeknight menu.
Rating: A Keeper, Company-Worthy, Teen-Approved