Monday, August 14, 2006

Fettucini with Pulled Chicken, Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Red Peppers

For my sister's birthday, I had the family over for dinner. Since I've been cleaning out my freezer, I decided to make good use of a large cooked chicken breast that's been hanging out in there. The recipe is an adaptation of Fresh Fettuccine with Pulled Rotissiere Chicken, Pesto and Roasted Peppers by Sara Moulton of Sara's Secrets on the Food Network.

Fettucini with Pulled Chicken, Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, and Red Roasted Peppers

Basil pesto (recipe below)
1 lb. package fettuccine rigati
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot
4 cups pulled cooked chicken meat
2 cups sliced roasted red bell peppers
1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup pitted black olives, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup mansolillo olives, halved lengthwise
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for the table*

Put the pesto in a large bowl. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Whisk the pasta water into the pesto. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring until soft and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and olives and cook, stirring until hot, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and cheese to the pesto and toss to combine. Add the chicken mixture and combine. Serve immediately. Pass Parmesan at the table.

Basil Pesto:
Recipe is from Giada DE Laurentiis

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (about) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan* In a blender, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until finely chopped. With the blender still running, gradually add enough oil to form a smooth and thick consistency. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese*. Season the pesto with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The pesto can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
*Note: I left out the Parmigiano cheese from the basil pesto and the entire dish, since my brother-in-law is lactose intolerant. Freshly grated Parmigiano was at the table for everyone else to enjoy.

I actually made the pesto and prepared the chicken mixture the day before. The next day, I added the chicken broth to the chicken mixture while warming it up to prevent it from drying out. This made the day of the party very stress-free, just the way I like it.

This was a really tasty pasta dish. Even without the cheese, it was a hit. Everyone loved it. It was easy to make and enough to feed a group of six. Not to mention it makes great use of leftover chicken and pantry staples

Do you have a favorite easy-to-make recipe that makes good use leftover chicken and/or pantry staples?

1 comment:

wheresmymind said...

Nothing worse than olives that are not pitted!!