Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken and Fresh Mozzarella Linguine

This recipe truly defines using everything but the kitchen sink!  I had all kinds of wonderful produce and no concrete ideas of how to use up the remains of the weeks unused extras.  So, I thought to myself, why not chicken and pasta with some veggies?  Half a bottle of wine later and I had this.  A truly wonderful pasta dish.

1 lb. of uncooked linguine
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use frozen one's by Sun Chief-they are amazing-no thawing required!)
extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1 shallot (sliced)
sea salt/ fresh cracked pepper
2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
1 cup of dry white wine (I used Chardonnay merely since I had it open from company at the house)
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tsp. of sugar
2 slices of a granny smith green apple (diced)
1/2 a carton of grape tomatoes
3 cups of fresh leaf spinach (washed/ dried)
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed)

-Get a large stockpot of water heating to a boil.  Heat about 2 tablespoon's of e.v.o. on medium-high  in a large deep saucepan.  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts; place in hot oil and cook each side for about 12-15 minutes or until a nice dark golden crust forms.  You only need to turn chicken once.  Meanwhile prepare the linguine as directed on the package for Au dente' - remembering to add some sea salt and e.v.o. to the water once it has reached a rapid boil (prevents sticking and adds flavor). When the chicken is just shy of being done, add in another tablespoon of e.v.o. along with the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes.  Once the chicken is done, remove it and set it to the side.  Pour in the wine first to deglaze the pan (using a wooden spoon scrape all the the stuff-the flavor- off the bottom of the pan) then add in the chicken stock, apples and the sugar.  Bring it to a boil and toss in the tomatoes and spinach; cook for 2-3 minutes.  Then toss in the Au dente' pasta (it will continue cooking in the sauce) and lastly fold in the mozzarella cubes.  Serves 4.  Enjoy!

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