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30-Minute Meals 2: Chicken Picatta Pasta Toss

A clever, successful way to update an old favorite into a less time-consuming recipe. Ray takes the basics of Chicken Picatta and transforms them into this pasta-based dish. As with all of the Italian recipes of hers that I've tested, she really shines when she's cooking in this cuisine. Italian food is her forte, and this recipe bears that out.

I've made a couple of adjustments to the recipe as it appears in 30-Minute Meals 2. I increased the amount of lemon juice from Ray's original "juice of 1 lemon" to a full 1/4 cup, which might require more than one lemon. If you like capers, feel free to add more.

Ray says this recipe makes 4 servings. I think it's closer to 8 servings, myself. If you have leftovers, add about 1/3 cup of chicken broth to each serving when reheating, otherwise the dish will be dry. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice over reheated leftovers also helps to perk the flavor back up.

In the 30-Minute Meals menu format, this dish is paired with Emmanuel's Baked Artichoke Hearts, which are also delicious.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings

1 pound penne rigate
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.25 pounds chicken tenders
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 medium shallots, chopped
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 chicken broth or stock
3 Tbsp capers, drained
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Chopped or snipped chives, optional

Bring a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, add salt (at least 2 Tbsp) and penne. Cook according to package directions, then drain, return to pan, cover, and keep warm.

Cut chicken tenders into 1 inch pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil to the pan. When oil is shimmering, add chicken. Season with salt and pepper, and brown until lightly golden all over, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Add another Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, the garlic, and the shallots, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine, then add chicken stock and lemon juice. Stir in capers and parsley. Bring mixture to a gentle boil, then add remaining 1 Tbsp of butter. Return chicken to the pan and heat through, 1 minute. Add chicken mixture to the pasta, stirring to combine well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve with chives, if desired.



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