Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lemon Chicken Fettuccini

Jim requested lemon chicken twice in the past week so I lovingly obliged, but changed it up a bit. Of course! That's what I do. Remember my mom's Lemon Chicken? She coats the chicken with seasonings and flour and bakes it with butter. She serves the chicken breasts covered in sauce and served over rice. I took the same steps, tweaked the method a bit and came up with this summer pasta dish that is bright with lemon and totally satisfying.

I started by rinsing three chicken breasts and trimming the ugly parts off the sides and bottom. You know those odd little pieces that hang off - I like to cut them off with kitchen shears.  Pat the chicken dry and then place in a dutch oven and season with whatever house seasoning you like. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.

This Dutch Oven is from the new Cocinaware line at H-E-B, and is less than $30! Find out how to win some cool Cocinaware.

To give the chicken some flavors to cook in, I cut a lemon into wedges and squeezed them over the chicken and then threw the lemon in the pot.

Ah, a dish without garlic is a dish without love. Too dramatic? Well, I peeled these four garlic cloves and threw them in whole. Next time, I will probably smash them with the back of my knife and throw them in smashed.  As I left them whole, there was an "essence" of garlic, but I would have liked a more intense garlic flavor.

At this point, I wasn't sure how I would use the chicken breasts. I may leave them whole and place them on top of the pasta and ladle the sauce on top. Instead of pats of butter, I drizzled just a little bit of olive oil over the top and then covered the pot and cooked for 30 minutes in a 350 degrees oven.

While the chickens baked, I added a large pinch of salt to a pot of water and put this on the stove to boil. When I have about 10 minutes till dinner I will drop the pasta and cook it for 8-10 minutes, drain and serve. I used fettuccini, but spaghetti or other type of pasta would work just as well.

The sauce is very important to the dish and ridiculously simply. You can customize this sauce as much as you like. If you want to keep it simple, use 8 ounces of sour cream, a can of cream of chicken soup and 1/3 cup of lemon juice (lemon juice from a bottle would be fine too).

I used 8 ounces of sour cream, white wine, fresh lemons, minced garlic, chopped onion and a can of cream of chicken soup. Here is how I did it.

I ended up only using one half of the onion and dicing on the fine side.

Over medium heat I cooked the onions in a tablespoon of butter.

 I minced two garlic cloves and added those to the onions also.

When the onions are almost translucent and before they start getting too brown, I added a splash of white wine.

This is Bell Springs Chardonnay, a local wine located in Dripping Springs, Texas. It's bright and creamy with hints of lemon which goes so well in this lemon chicken dish.

Ahhh... wish I could send you a whiff of this onion, garlic and wine mixture.  I let this simmer for a little bit until the liquid was nearly evaporated.

 LEMONS! I sliced three, but ended up only needing two lemons to get to 1/3 cup of fresh juice.

Be sure to strain the lemon seeds out.

This is one of those cans you should always have in your pantry - it can be used in so many dishes. In this recipe it gives body and creaminess to my lemon sauce.

After the cream of chicken is stirred in, add the 8 ounces of sour cream.

Stir everything together and taste for seasoning. I added 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce a bit. Then turned the stove to low so the sauce stays warm while I finish with the chicken and pasta.

After 30 minutes the chickens are cooked through - pierce with a fork and make sure the juice runs clear. Likewise you can cut with a knife and make sure the meat is no longer pink.

Now it's time to decide how I want to serve the chicken, sauce and pasta.

My game day decision was to shred the chicken with two forks and stir it into the sauce.

When the pasta was finished cooking I plated the fettuccini on the plate first and topped with the lemon chicken sauce and garnished each plate with chopped green onions and a few slivers of lemon.

If you can, be sure to serve the same wine you used in your dish with your meal. The wine will compliment the meal and vice versa.

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