Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

When I was living in Milwaukee, we used to go out to eat at a nouveau Italian restaurant called Louise's. It was definitely a favorite, and after Mom moved from Wisconsin, we'd try to go there every time she came to town for a visit. They make their own fresh pasta, and all of the dishes are delectable, but one in particular always kept me wanting more. When I moved to Arizona, I decided to try to recreate the taste of this dish (since I couldn't reasonably fly to Milwaukee every time I was craving it!) and after many near-misses, I think I've got it very close! Granted, I don't usually make my own fettucini pasta, but this recipe is just the thing to ease those cravings!

Clean and cut 2 lbs chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces.
Sauté chicken in 2T olive oil until lightly golden.
Add 1 crushed garlic clove to the chicken and cook just until translucent.
Add 1/2 bottle of a non-oaky Chardonnay to deglaze the pan. (We use Barefoot - it's inexpensive and adds a good flavor without being overwhelming)
Add 1 can of low-sodium chicken broth - you can use homemade chicken stock here if you have it, but prepared broth works very well.
Allow the chicken to simmer over low heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. This will allow the wine and garlic to flavor the chicken, as well as keeping the final dish from being too liquid. I usually let it simmer as long as I can, covering the pan if it seems to be losing too much liquid. When the stock is reduced, and you're ready to proceed, add approximately 2 oz of sun-dried tomatoes, julienned. I use the dry-packed tomatoes, not the ones in olive oil.
Once the tomatoes have softened a bit, and about 1/4 cup of fresh-grated parmesan cheese and allow it to melt into the sauce.
Add 1/2 pint heavy cream (or a little more if you like it really creamy). I tried this using half & half, and found that to get the right texture I needed more than 1/2 pint, and then it was too runny, so I just use the heavy cream and try to keep the rest of the meal light. This does make a lot of pasta, so I figure the amount of cream in one serving isn't too horrible.
Stir in 1 lb of cooked pasta. I like to add the pasta a bit at a time, until the balance of pasta to sauce seems good - This sometimes means I have some pasta left over - I just freeze it for another use.
Serve hot, with fresh parmesan and sliced green onions to sprinkle over the top. Enjoy!

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