So, we were having people over one night and I decided that the Pioneer Woman‘s Lemon Basil chicken pasta was going on the menu, as I had some cream to use up, and PDub’s my go-to girl when that’s the case. Also, she’s my go to crowd-pleaser, because everyone always loves her stuff.
But of course, I took her idea as a starting point and used it as inspiration. First of all, I marinated the chicken in my own vinaigrette overnight and used bone in, skin on, for flavor. Grilled to perfection, it was AMAZING in this dish. Also, as we are already familiar with my passion for garlic (obsession you say? passion, obsession, potato, putahto, black, white) – I had to add that. And what is garlic without onion? Sad, my friends, garlic is sad without it’s best friend and constant lifetime companion, the onion. Life partners they are, journeying to the depths of culinary dishes everywhere in hopes of bringing them out of darkness and into the light. So yeah, had to add.
Also, did not use as much – nee, ANY – butter, just a titch of oil (lie, 1 T) and whole milk instead of half and half (from a failed pudding pie attempt – let’s not talk about it. I’m still ashamed and ANGRY I spent so much on making two completely useless pies and THEN to add insult to injury, David had to BUY snack! Buy it! Like he’s a bachelor, for crying out loud! Such things are not acceptable in my world, and I feel my reputation is tarnished, with a big red A for absolutely should never try to make pudding again. )
I did use all the lemons and some zest, and would actually back down next time, as I feel the basil (and I even sprung for fresh!) was overpowered by the lemon. It was still amazing, don’t get me wrong – as heavy as alfredo, but the lemon made it feel like summer on a plate. But I LOVE fresh basil and am usually too cheap to buy it, so when I do, I really want it to shine unabashed.
And finally, well, Jon came over, and conned me into doubling the recipe. Are we surprised that the BIL with the hollow man has this kind of pull over me, the perpetual Overmaker? No. It’s like telling a crack addict that her next hit is for the good of her friends. Have Mercy.
Oh, and I almost forgot – replaced half the parm with fontina. Because why wouldn’t you? It’s God’s cheese, fontina, and I’m sure He says that somewhere in the gnostic gospels, right along with commenting on the ludicrousness that is no carb diets.
Ok, long front story aside, this fed…7 people…with a TON leftover, sent home with my BIL and his hollow leg to share.
- 2 pounds pasta
- 3 cups cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 c shredded fontina
- 2 bunches basil
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced fine
- 1 T oil
- 8 lemons (like i said, i would back down to 5 or 6 here)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 chicken breasts (could do more or less here – to taste)
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 T oil
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Combine chicken and marinade ingredients – let sit overnight, or for a few hours.
- Once you’re ready to cook, pull out chicken and let come to room temperature, then grill (or pan fry, or bake) until 170 degrees.
- Pull it out, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes – it will come to 180 degrees and actually be juicy, and wonderful, and not underdone I swear.
- Put water on to boil – once rolling, add pasta and cook until it’s done the way you like. I like a little bite (al dente) – David thinks I’m psychotic. I cook, so I win. 🙂
- In the mean time, heat oil over medium high, saute onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Back heat down to medium, add garlic, saute for 30 sec-1 min, until you can smell it.
- Deglaze with the lemons and the wine – you can skip this, but I LOVE cooking with wine.
- Add milk and cream – bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, add cheese. Stir until it melts.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in cooked pasta and stir to combine.
- Add basil just before serving.
- Slice chicken and put over pasta, or serve alongside.
- Eat. Eat some more. Eat leftovers for three days. Enjoy. 🙂