Monday, March 3, 2014

Linguine with Crispy Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce

I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since the last time I posted! I guess I've been keeping myself busy in other ways, like playing 1 million games of Hungry Hungry Hippos, cursing the snow that just won't stop, and praying for spring to arrive sooner rather than later. Yes, all of those things are directly related to being cooped up in the house for too long. This winter has sapped my energy for everything; I can count on two hands the times I actually cooked dinner during the entire month of February. It's desperate times around here, folks. Spring needs to get here STAT.

But finally, I found a recipe to pull me out of my blogging funk -- one that I just had to share with you right away. This was our dinner on Saturday night, and I'm already looking forward to making it again. And again...and again...and again. This pasta dish is so fantastic. Basically, you boil some pasta and you roast some tomatoes. You bread some chicken in panko and fry it. You caramelize some onions and toss them with some cream. Then you stir it all together and devour it. Oh yeah.

This pasta has it all. The sweetness of the onions, apple juice and cream are balanced out by black pepper to make a luxurious, velvety sauce. The soft, bursting roasted tomatoes are counterbalanced by the crispy nuggets of chicken. It does use a few pans, but it's more than worth it. It's so perfect that, when we sat down to dinner last night, Will was near tears because he wanted to eat this pasta for dinner for a second night in a row. And these days Will doesn't really want to eat anything, so this was a huge development. If my picky four-year-old loves it, then it will probably taste transcendent to you.

Linguine with Crispy Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce
heavily adapted from Everyday Reading

For the pasta:

8 ounces linguine
Parmesan cheese

For the roasted tomatoes:

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:

1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Cook for 20 minutes or until browned and bursting.
2. Meanwhile, add the beaten egg to a large bowl. Mix together the panko, Italian breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan (enough to shallow-fry the chicken). Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Fry in batches until golden and crispy; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with coarse salt.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until onions are fragrant and caramelized.  

4. While the onions are caramelizing, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions; drain. 

5. Add the garlic to the caramelized onions; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Raise heat to medium-high and stir in the apple juice, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to pick up any browned bits. Let the apple juice reduce slightly, then stir in the cream. Reduce heat back to medium-low and heat gently until thickened; taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Gently stir together the reserved tomatoes, crispy chicken, and pasta. Add the sauce and toss gently to combine. Serve with parmesan cheese.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I'm glad you're back! I was going to send you a message on FB to check if you were ok LOL! I've missed your delicious recipes. I'm making this next week, it looks amazing.