Tuesday, November 27, 2012

15 Minute Meals: Pasta Pesto & Garlic Chicken

I took some chicken out of the freezer to defrost yesterday morning, so I went searching for a recipe to use it in.  I came up with another 15 Minute Meal, and with a few substitutions I realized I could make it without having to stop at the grocery store again!

307.  Pasta Pesto & Garlic Chicken (Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, page 172)

This recipe wanted chicken breast, which is what I thought I had defrosted, but it turned out to be boneless, skinless thighs instead.  What the heck, I spread it out on some greaseproof paper and sprinked it with rosemary from the garden & some fennel seeds, and then flattened it with a rolling pin.  I like this method of pounding flavour into the meat!  :)  I put the chicken into a large frying pan with a bit of olive oil, over high heat.

Next up, the veg.  No more green beans but I do have that monster broccoli kicking around, so I used it instead.  That went into a casserole pan, covered with boiling water from the kettle & a bit of salt.  So far, so good.  I added some unpeeled garlic cloves and halved red chilis to the chicken pan, then got some of my homemade basil pesto out of the freezer.  I tend to freeze it in ice cube trays, so it's pretty convenient and easy to defrost quickly.  I didn't have any fresh lasagne sheets handy, but I did have half a pack of the official JO free-range dried lasagne in the cupboard, so I broke it into random shapes and called them handkerchiefs.  (Is it just me or is that kind of a weird name for a pasta?)  I added the pasta to the broccoli pan and I added a few diced tomatoes to the chicken pan.  I substituted some beet greens from the garden for baby spinach, and added them to the broccoli/pasta pan.  I took a ladleful of the starchy water and added it to the defrosted pesto. 

Hey, I think this was about at the 15 minute mark so I wasn't much over time!  Shut up, I know I cheated on the pesto.  I drained the pasta & veg, and then coated it with the pesto mixture.  I sliced up one of the chicken pieces and laid it over the top of the pasta on my plate, and then spooned some of the tomatoey, garlicky goodness over the top.  I sprinkled everything with a little bit of parmesan cheese, and it was pretty as a picture!  Looked good enough to eat!  And so I dug in, completely forgetting to snap the shot.  Seriously.  You'll just have to believe me!  The verdict:  I wish I'd used breast.  I found the thighs a bit too fatty for my liking.  But the flavours were spot on.

I offered the left overs up to the adult children when they wandered home later that evening.  My daughter complained about the "Christmas trees" (aka rosemary) on her chicken, but ate a plate of everything anyways.  My son refused the pasta outright because, in his words "it has leaves in it!"  He opted to eat his chicken on a bun instead.  Hey, that means I can take left over pesto pasta to work for lunch today.  Score!

This post has been linked to the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty!

One year ago, I was baking Sexy Swedish Buns!
Two years ago, I made Clementine Jelly & Pumpkin Rice Laksa Soup.
Three years ago, I tried Lamb and Red Wine Stew.


  1. how do i get jamie in err, on my pasta boxes???! love it! haha.

    thank you for sharing with us at the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up! I hope to see you again this week with more seasonal & fresh/real food posts. xo, kristy

    1. Ha ha you can get Jamie "on" your food labels here: http://shalitfoods.com/estore/by-category