Jan 032012

Pasta and Chicken are always a favorite at my house, and this dish is no exception. The fresh tastes of the tomatoes and basil come through. Using a store bought chicken broth makes this recipe ideal for the beginner cook; however, for an even better flavor, you might try making your own broth by simmering a whole chicken.

CQ- Chicken Penne Al-fresco

4 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
3 cups uncooked mezze penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, divided
1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup packed)
2 cups diced grilled chicken breasts
Additional grated fresh Parmesan cheese and coarsely ground black pepper (optional)

Spray baker with olive oil spritzer. Slice or press garlic into baker  Add tomatoes. Cover; microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst, stirring after 2 minutes. Crush tomatoes. Add pasta, broth, wine, salt and black pepper.
Return baker to microwave; cover and microwave on HIGH 16-18 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring after 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop basil. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Grate cheese.
Carefully remove baker from microwave and remove lid, lifting away from you. Add remaining basil, cheese and chicken to baker ; mix well. Garnish with reserved 2 tbsp basil, additional Parmesan cheese and black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrients per serving: Light (about 1 cup): Calories 240, Total Fat 2.5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Carbohydrate 35 g, Protein 17 g, Sodium 450 mg, Fiber 2 g

Cook’s Tips: An additional 3/4 cup chicken broth can be substituted for the wine, if desired.

Any tube-shaped pasta requiring 9-11 minutes cook time, such as penne or rigatoni, can be substituted for the mezze penne pasta.

To grill chicken in a Grill Pan, season 2 chicken breasts, about 6 oz each, with salt and black pepper. Heat Grill Pan over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Spray pan with oil. Cook chicken 4-6 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn chicken over; cook 4-6 minutes or until center of chicken is no longer pink and Digital Pocket Thermometer registers 170°F.

Another favorite chicken recipe of mine is Chicken Bourguignon with White Wine

Oct 312011


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 ribs celery from the heart of the stalk and leafy tops, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, 4 to 5 sprigs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups white French wine, 1/3 bottle
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound extra-wide egg noodles


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 5 minutes, remove with slotted spoon.

Heat a pot of water to boil for egg noodles.

While bacon crisps, scatter 1/2 cup flour on a shallow dish. Season the chopped chicken with salt and pepper and add to flour. Toss the chicken to coat and shake off the excess as you add it to the hot bacon drippings. Lightly brown the chicken about 3 minutes on each side then remove. Add to the pan the celery, carrots and onions as you chop them. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook vegetables 5 to 6 minutes to tenderize them. Scoot vegetables off to the sides of the pan forming a well. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the well and melt them whisk in 2 tablespoons flour. Whisk wine into roux, shake pan to combine then stir in stock. Add chicken back to the pan and stir in the onions. Simmer the chicken 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning.