Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken in little time

Great weekend...old friends are moving back to Chicago, and they were in town looking for a condo to rent. Most friends these days are moving away from Chicago, so we're so happy to be welcoming a few back. Also had a good playdate on Sunday, which included a great bottle of wine and BBQ. (Doesn't sound like your playdates? You gotta start having playdates with my family!)

And now the week begins again. I did my best sherpa impression as I go to and fro my office, carrying a breast pump, my laptop and work files, my purse and my packed lunch. It was a day of meetings, phone calls and Excel spreadsheets.  Back at home, I'm greeted by two excited kiddos. I only have a bit of time before Jossie's witching hour, so I need a quick-prep dinner. Here's one good for anyone who's had a busy day:

Rachael Ray's Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup chicken broth or stock
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
Chopped or snipped chives, for garnish

Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet. Saute garlic and shallots 3 minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers and parsley. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine. Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped chives.

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