Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29: Grilled Chicken, Scampi Style, with Angel Hair Pasta

   Coarse salt
1 pound angel hair pasta
6 garlic cloves, crushed
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
   Coarse black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds chicken tenders
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 roasted red peppers, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 ½ teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill on high.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Salt the water and cook the angel hair pasta until al dente (with a bite). Heads up: You will be using a couple of ladles of cooking water before draining the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, in a bowl combine the garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and the EVOO. Place half of the garlic mixture with the chicken in another bowl and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer the chicken to the hot grill and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

While the chicken is grilling, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the reserved garlic mixture and the red pepper flakes; cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden brown.

Add the wine to the skillet and cook for 1 minute, then add 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water and the lemon zest and juice and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the grilled chicken, toss to coat, add the drained angel hair pasta, and toss to coat again. Toss the red pepper strips with the angel hair and they will thread through the pasta and really pump up the color. Garnish with chopped chives and oregano for a unique flavor finish.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta and chicken among 4 serving plates.


This is the first variation on the Shrimp Scampi Pasta. I definitely did not like it as much. First of all, I cut back on the fat a lot, and I'm sure that didn't help - flavor wise. Second, I just don't like the flavors of the plain pasta with plain chicken. Oregano just didn't seem to fit very well. The only part I did like was the red peppers. Hopefully the scallop recipe will be better.

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