Like most kids out there, my son loves pasta. And he loves chicken. Win-win situation. Here’s a great way to combine those two, with some added vegetables, in a way that tastes absolutely phenomenal. This is a major staple recipe at our house.
The sauce has a really mellow flavor that lends itself for lots of tweaking. It’s kinda sweet—I’m using a lot of carrot for sweetness—and rich. Just play with the ingredients to your hearts content. Adjust the quantities, add some stuff, leave out things you don’t care for and make it your own.
Imagine for one moment, just one tiny moment, that there’s someone out there reading this blog who doesn’t like pasta (hard to imagine, I know), they’ll be happy to hear this sauce works great when eaten with flat-bread, pita bread or as a wrap as well!
pappardelle (or fettuccine)
3 chicken legs & thighs
4 oz bacon
1 large carrot
2 celery stalks
2 small onions
3 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes (14oz)
1 cup water
1 (or 2) chicken bouillon cubes
2 tbsp butter
Start by finely cutting the bacon. Judging by the hits on bacon related postings, I’d say I’m not the only one with a hankering for anything bacon.
I want the vegetables to really blend in with the sauce; they have to stick to the pasta, so that means chopping them as fine as you possibly can. I’m using my food processor for the job. I’ve heard it can be really therapeutic to chop things by hand, though! Say that often enough and eventually you might start to believe it!
I’ve coarsely chopped the carrot. Having to cook for a toddler I tend to make dishes a tad sweeter by using more carrot, feel free to tone it down.
Do the same with the celery. Mine was pretty big so I’ve only used one stalk. Use two stalks if yours are smaller.
Cut two small or one medium onion in coarse pieces.
And toss it all in your food processor.
I’m such a lazy cook, I know. Seriously, this took me all of 5 seconds.
Grate or finely chop 3 garlic cloves. You could add them to your food processor as well, but somehow I always end up with really big chunks of garlic in my sauce later on. It’s kinda nasty.
Heat two tbsp butter or oil. I prefer using butter for this one. Yes, the odd liquid Dutch butter. Add the bacon and vegetables and cook for 4 minutes. Oh, my Jamie Oliver fake Le Creuset will be replaced with a real one soon. One of my recipes won a Le Creuset cooking set! (yeah, I shrieked when I heard it!)
After 4 minutes, add the grated garlic and crumble in a bouillon cube. I use two of them and only add a little bit of extra salt later on. Cook garlic & cube for another minute and add the chicken.
I prefer using legs and thighs, but you can also cut up a whole fryer for this.
Pour in 1 cup of water, the diced tomatoes and season with a generous amount of pepper, a little salt (depending on how many bouillon cubes you’ve added) and some dried basil to taste. Dried basil works better for this dish.
Take one last look at the yumminess, pop the lid on and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid after 45 minutes and simmer the sauce for another 15 minutes without the lid on, allowing the sauce to cook down a bit.
Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the pan so it can cool off.
You can use any kind of pasta you like. I happen to like pappardelle. Boil the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on your package.
While the pappardelle cooks, pick as much chicken meat off the bones as you possibly can.
Add it to the sauce, turn the heat back on and simmer for a little while, until the pasta is ready.
Whatever you do, serve this with crusty brown garlic & cheese bread and a salad on the side. You just have to! You’ll end up in pasta heaven, I promise! Okay, so maybe you could skip the salad but please… not the bread! Don’t deny yourself the bread!
Kay’s Recipe Card
Click here for printable size.