Like I mentioned in my Homemade Pesto post I was contemplating dinner ideas using the newly made pesto. I had one large chicken breast in the fridge and literally made this recipe up as I went along. With that being said please forgive me with my rough estimates on measurements. However, I do feel that this can be altered to your own taste buds. For starters I drizzled some olive oil in my pan and turned the heat to a medium high. I began slicing the chicken breast in large strips while the oil warmed in the pan. In full disclosure I think next time I will dice the chicken into more bite size pieces but you live and learn. I then placed the chicken in the pan and seasoned to taste. I used the holy trinity of seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and my homemade dried basil.
After snapping this picture, I spread the chicken evenly in my hot pan. I cooked both sides of the chicken aiming for a nice browned skin on the chicken. While the chicken was cooking I grabbed my stock pot and added water, salt, and olive oil. My mama always said to add olive oil to the water to help your noodles from sticking to one another. Does it help? Heck if I know! I always do it because mama said! When adding the salt to your water, you want to be heavy handed. The water should seem like it is coming from the ocean it is so salty. This helps with flavoring your pasta. Turn your heat to high and bring your water to a boil. Let’s not forget about our chicken! Once it has reached a nice crispy texture pull it from the pan and keep warm.
Your pasta water should be a rolling boil and ready for your fettuccine noodles. You can honestly use whatever noodles you want but these are the ones I went with. Sometimes a girl just wants all the carbs!
While your noodles are boiling, grab a some white mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and give them a good rinse. Place your mushrooms in the pan that you used to brown your chicken. I had them in the pan long enough to give them some color and pick up some of the seasoning from the pan. Once the mushrooms have been sauteed pull them out of the pan and keep warm.
As far as the amount of mushrooms I used was about a handful. I am not a huge mushroom fan so I did less BUT next time I will definitely saute more. Begin slicing the cherry tomatoes and leave off to the side, I will explain my reasoning for that later on.
Now that the chicken is cooked and the mushrooms are sauteed check your pasta. Carefully pull out a noodle and allow it to cool just a tad. At this point you should be able to feel with your hands if the pasta is under cooked. If I am not sure I always take a little bite and if it is still too al dente I know to add more time to the pasta.
So many people forget about the pasta and end up over cooking it. Be sure to constantly check it so you can have the perfectly cooked pasta you desire. With it being fettuccine noodles you may need to cook them longer than expected. When your pasta has reached the right texture carefully drain and place in the pan you used for the chicken and mushrooms. Add the pesto and remember that the amount is all about preference. I added a little but then ended up adding a little more later on.
Give the noodles a quick toss with the pesto and immediately add in your chicken and mushrooms. If your pesto is cold like mine was you may want to keep the burner on a medium low heat to help warm it up without over cooking your other ingredients. Remember how I said I would talk about the tomatoes later? Well here is later. I am not a huge fan of cooked tomatoes…there I said it. I added my tomatoes to the pan just long enough to coat them in the pesto and to take the chill off of them.
Gently toss the ingredients together to combine and coat everything in the pesto. Yes! I know I can hear my mama now getting on to me for using metal utensils in my nonstick pan. Since I was gentle while tossing, no noodles or pan were harmed in the making of this meal. Grab your plate and begin platting the meal. For a garnish I added grated Parmesan cheese and sliced ribbons of fresh basil.
Oh my heavens was this delicious! It was so light and summery with notes of the lemon coming through the pesto. The tomato and mushrooms helped elevate the dish in both flavor and color. I think the only thing that could give this meal an extra boost is if the pasta was homemade. Maybe that will be my next experiment? Learn to make homemade pasta!
- 1 chicken breast
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- garlic powder
- dried basil (optional)
- White mushrooms
- Cherry tomatoes
- fettuccine noodles
- grated Parmesan
- Add about 1 table spoon of olive oil to pan and seat heat to a medium high.
- Slice chicken breast into bite size pieces and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried basil (optional).
- Place chicken in warm oil. Be sure to spread out evenly to get crispy.
- Grab a large pot and bring water to a boil. Be sure to add olive oil and loads of salt.
- Flip chicken and once cooked thoroughly remove from pan and keep warm.
- Rinse mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Add mushrooms to warm pan and saute until mushrooms are brown and picking up the seasonings from the chicken. Remove from pan and keep warm.
- Slice tomatoes and keep for later.
- Check pasta through out!! Once tender remove from heat and drain. Add to pan used for chicken and mushrooms. Keep burner on medium low to not cook but warm up the pesto.
- Quickly add the pesto. However much you would like.
- Add chicken and mushrooms and gently give a toss.
- When ready add the sliced tomatoes and toss to coat.
- Plate meal and garnish with grated Parmesan and sliced basil if desired.
Pour yourself a nice glass of Chardonnay and enjoy!