Monday, April 27, 2015

Silky Garlic-Basil and Parmesan Chicken Linguine with Baby Kale

Ah this dinner has been one of my all time fave creations that we have repeated several times already!  It's so silky, creamy and gourmet tasting to me!  I feel like I'm eating at a fancy restaurant!  It's pretty easy to make and you can always use the basic idea of it and recreate it in lots of various ways.  Pretty much it's as simple as cooking some chicken to perfection adding some garlic and a veggie using the fond (brown bits) left in the pan and then adding in some butter, parmesan and reduced chicken stock with water when adding the cooked noodles to the pan!  So here's what we did.

We have been wilting greens for this recipe and in each photo it's either Baby Kale or regular Kale both work well.  Baby Spinach, Baby Arugula and Collard Greens would also all work well for this.  You can either pre-wilt the Kale in a non-stick pan sprayed with a good cooking spray or some olive oil and add a little bit of water as needed to help it steam and wilt down, I also add a lid to trap heat and steam to help it cook faster, season with salt and pepper.  Or you can add it with more water when you add the Knorr Reduced Stock to the fragrant minced garlic in the step below.  I prefer pre-wilting it because it's faster to finish than if I have to wait for it to cook down later on.

We used 2 servings (55g each) of Trader Joe's Garlic Basil Linguine‬ cooked for 6 minutes in salted water.  Once finished reserve about 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water.  (Sometimes I forget and have to just use plain water but it's extra nice to use the pasta water.)  Drain and Set Aside till ready to add it to the veggies and sauce later on.

Perfect Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast you make in a skillet so you can get the fond in the bottom of the pan.  Add 1/2-1 Tsp. Olive Oil heat on medium high till hot add chicken loosely cover with aluminum foil to keep in heat and let out steam for 3 minutes and 30 seconds, flip recover and cook for a second 3 minutes and 30 seconds (or until cooked through, that time is usually perfection for us).  Remove from pan and let chicken rest on a warmed plate covered with aluminum foil for at about 5 minutes.

Using the same pan that you cooked the chicken in, heat on medium another 1-2 Tsp. Olive Oil, usually I only need 1 Tsp.  Add 4 Cloves Minced Garlic and cook until fragrant (only about 30 sec. to a minute) then add 1 Tsp. Knorr Reduced Sodium Reduced Stock and the pasta water or plain water.  Let Reduced Stock melt.  Only add just enough water usually about 1/4 cup, if you need more add more and if you add too much just let it reduce.  Add the Wilted Baby Kale, Cooked Pasta, 1 Tablespoon Butter, 1oz. (28g) Grated Parmesan (grated from the wedge is the best kind and worth the effort).  Season with Salt and Pepper to Taste.  Stir till throuoghly combined and till sauce is tightened up.  Divide between two warmed plates.  We love to slice up the Chicken and place it on top.  Usually it's around 2-4 oz. of Chicken each depending on how much I want that day, typically it's 4oz.

Take about a Tablespoon or 2 amount of Fresh Basil Leaves and either chop them or for a more fun and pretty version roll them up and thinly slice to create ribbons.  Top the Chicken with the Basil.

1-2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil Chopped or Chiffonade/Ribbons
2-4 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
1oz. (28g) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Teaspoon Knorr Reduced Sodium Reduced Stock
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Seasoned with Salt and Pepper
1 Bag or 2 (85g) Servings of Preferred Greens (Baby Kale, Chopped Kale, Baby Spinach, Baby Arugula or Collard Greens)
2 Servings (55g each 110g total) Trader Joe's Garlic Basil Linguine (You could use any pasta you desire in it's place it just won't taste exactly the same as mine did. LOL)

In this photo I reserved some of the Grated Parmesan to sprinkle on the top.

In this photo we used regular Kale chopped up instead of Baby Kale.  Also a note about a nice wine pairing is a good buttery Chardonnay like Kendall Jackson's Vintner's Reserve!  Super yummy!

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