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Chicken Dishes 3-in-1
Show 15.06
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Pasta Francesca

Use ½ the breast of Store Bought Chicken cut or shred into bite size pieces.
Pasta (about 8 oz. Pasta for 2 servings)
½ stick butter
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves roasted garlic
3 large Roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
¼ cup raw pine nuts
3 scallions, chopped

Cut the top off your bulb of garlic (not the end where the stem is) and put it on a sheet of foil.  Pour about a couple tablespoons of olive oil over it, wrap and put in a 350-degree oven and cook it until it is tender.  You will start smelling the wonderful garlic aroma and just keep touching the packet (you don't have to unwrap it) making sure you are using something that won't burn your hand or puncture the packet.  A wooden spoon (either end) is good.  As soon as it feels soft it is ready.  You can do this several days ahead of time so it is ready when you need it. Store it in a container in the refrigerator and use something you can puncture with holes  (e.g. a recycled plastic tub), to release any gases that are produced.

Note:  I use roasted garlic because it isn't so sharp and it is has a wonderful buttery consistency.  Good spread on French bread.  In the Asian markets they sell large containers of peeled garlic cloves for about $4.00.  You can put them in foil, pour olive oil over them and roast the same way.  It will last you a long time.  I give little containers to my friends.

Toast your raw pine nuts by putting them raw in a shallow pan over medium high heat.  DON'T LEAVE THEM ALONE.  Keep moving them around and just as they start to brown on the edges, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Put your pasta in a large pot with plenty of water, following the manufacturer's cooking instructions.  Most dry pastas take 10 - 20 minutes depending on which type you use.  Be sure you put salt in the pot.  Biting into pasta that hasn't been salted during cooking is like biting into wallpaper, even if you add salt later.

Chop your tomatoes and set them aside.

Clean your scallions and cut off the top of the white and the ends of the green.  Chop them and set aside

Stack your basil leaves, roll them up width wise and make little julienne cuts about 1/16 of an inch wide.  Set aside.

Browning butter:  While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a pan on top of the stove on medium high heat.  DON'T LEAVE IT!  This is a really easy process but there is a critical point that separates wonderful from inedible.  You won't go wrong if you are watching it closely.  The butter browns quickly, so this is not a long and tedious chore.  When you see the butter foam and you can't see the bottom of the pan, lift the pan off the burner and gently swirl it so you can see what lies beneath the foam.  If it is color of a filbert or hazelnut shell, it is perfect and will have a wonderful nutty aroma.  Set it aside.  (If it becomes chestnut brown, it is gone.  You will know because it smells burned.  Try again.  (Trust me - I have done this more than once.)  It is the secret ingredient to this dish and is well worth getting used to doing this procedure as you can use it on many other dishes.

When the pasta is done, remove the pot from the heat, strain the liquid out into the sink and put the pasta back in the pot, making sure you have turned the burner off.  Add olive oil and the Parmesan cheese and toss.

Make sure the butter is still warm (if not put it on LOW heat until it has warmed back up) and pour it over the pasta.  Toss again.

Taste for seasonings and correct (does it need more salt and some freshly ground black pepper?).

Put the pasta on a plate and top with the chicken, scallions, tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil. 

Serve with a mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.

Note:  If you want to use this during warm weather you can cut down on the amount of pasta you use and replace it with chopped romaine lettuce (so it is about ½ & ½) and serve it at room temperature.  It adds both coolness and crunch.

Tortilla Soup
(This recipe is 4 healthy servings)

The carcass of the store bought chicken
1 can of chicken Broth
1 15 oz. Can of Corn
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of black beans
1-teaspoon ground cumin
5 cloves roasted garlic

Suggested Toppings:
Diced avocados
Sour cream
Grated cheddar cheese
Hot Sauce
Tortilla Chips

Put any remaining meat and the carcass   (don't break up the carcass or you will be looking for a lot of bones - keep it as intact as you can) in a large pot and cover with water and bring to a boil.  Turn it down to simmer for about 20 minutes.    You don't have to simmer it very long because the chicken is already cooked.

Turn off heat and let sit until the chicken is cool enough to handle.

Take the carcass out of pot and remove any meat and discard any bones and cartilage.  Strain the broth to check for any more bones, etc.  Pour the stock back into the pot along with the meat and add the canned chicken stock, corn, tomatoes, black beans, garlic and cumin.

Taste for seasonings.  Both the roasted chicken and the chicken broth are salted so you don't want to add any salt until you have tasted it.  Add or not salt and ground black pepper, if desired.

Serve with corn or flour tortillas, any of the suggested toppings (or whatever appeals to you) and a light salad.

Chinese Chicken Salad

½ breast from roasted store sought chicken cut or shred into bite size pieces
½ head iceberg lettuce
3 chopped scallions
Handful cilantro - chopped
1 large Tablespoon ginger strings (optional; can substitute fresh grated ginger root or diced candied ginger)
Slivered almonds
1/3 C rice wine vinegar (or any white vinegar you have)
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C sesame Oil
1/8 t salt
Crispy fried won ton skins or noodles (some stores carry the won ton skins and most markets have the canned noodles  in the Asian section.

Chop lettuce into julienne strips and place in a large bowl.

Shred chicken and put aside.

To make the dressing put vinegar, sugar and sesame oil in a jar and put on lid.  Shake until all the sugar dissolves   Set aside.

Toast the slivered almonds  until just starting to brown.  Don't leave in pan or on stove - they will keep cooking.  Pour them onto a plate.

Shake the dressing, or put in blender until it is emulsified.  Toss the salad with the ginger and dressing; slowly adding until it is nicely dressed.   Pour remaining dressing in small pitcher to pass for those who want extra.

Heap little mounds of salad onto plates and top with shredded chicken, toasted slivered almonds, scallions and cilantro.   Finish off with either fried crispy won tons or canned fried crispy noodles if desired.

Serve with croissants or dinner rolls


Francine Dominique
Community Cook