Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pinterest All Star - Creamy Grilled Chicken Piccata

You may also know this by it's incorrect caption "Ranch Chicken Pasta." That's how I first encountered it, and that's really the reason why I clicked on the picture too. My sister loves, loves, LOVES ranch dressing and I thought this would be right up her alley, but unfortunately for her -and fortunately for me- the caption was wrong and it was really a recipe for Creamy Grilled Chicken Piccata. Now, I don't think I need to mention how much I LOVE me a good chicken piccata, but I will anyway, because what's not to love? Tangy lemon juice and citrusy sauvignon blanc dancing a savory waltz around al dente spaghetti, while stopping now and again to mingle with tender pieces of chicken;seriously people, what's not to love? But, enough about me and my love affair with chicken piccata and more about this creamy grilled version.

To quote Ryan after his first bite, "This is really an ALL STAR!", and folks he's right. Let me break it down for you: First, the chicken. The marinade for the chicken is spot on; meaning, if you wanted to have a low carb delicious meal, you could just go ahead and have this delicous chicken with a salad and call it a day. Second, the sauce. The sauce is pretty freakin' good. I used heavy cream, because it only called for 1/2 a cup, but you could easily use Half and Half and have the same results. The sauce was really lemony, which was great because one of my concerns was that with the addition of the cream it would loose that tang that traditional chicken piccata has, but it didn't. It was tangy, creamy, and delicious. My only complaint on the sauce was that it dried up or thickened too fast, meaning it didn't stay very creamy. By the time we went in for seconds it was pretty dried up. But don't let that deter you from trying this recipe, because there is an easy fix. Just turn the pan back on low and add a splash or two of milk and stir. It will come right back to life and you can enjoy your seconds, as much as you enjoyed your firsts.

Overall, I really liked this recipe because it was easy to put together and extremely flavorful. You set the chicken to marianade the night before. Grill it when you get home while the pasta water is cooking. Throw all your sauce ingredients in a pan and voila, you got yourself and restaurant quality meal in no time! The recipe makes enough for two, if you serve a salad enough for three (allowing for seconds or generous portions of course).

Pinterest All Star - Creamy Grilled Chicken Piccata
via Plain Chicken


Juice of 1 lemon (3Tbsp)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp basil or oregano
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups dried penne pasta
2 Tbsp butter
Juice of 2 lemons (6 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
2 tsp dried basil
2 Tbps capers
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


Combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Place chicken in a ziplock bag and pour marinade over chicken. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. When ready, grill until done. Allow chicken to rest for a few minutes and then slice into strips to serve over pasta.

While chicken is grilling. Cook pasta according to directions (10-12 minutes). Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain. In same sauce pan (or deep skillet), melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in garlic and lemon juice. Pour in half and half and whisk until hot. Add some salt and pepper to taste. Add the parmesan cheese, basil and capers, and heat until cheese is melted. Check the consistency of the sauce and add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Toss in pasta.

Serve in pasta bowls with grilled chicken on top. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired.

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