The grill pan is one of my favorite kitchen treasures. It lets me (almost) replicate the look and taste of an outside grill, right on my stove-top. I’m all for shortcuts and making life easier, so you well know how this fits into my lifestyle 😉 Another thing that makes life easier is ready-made sauces – for the life of me, I can’t imagine slow simmering some BBQ sauce over 12-14 hours! I have better things to do, like read a juicy cookbook or go grocery shopping for exciting ingredients! Now, there’s two kinds of grocery shopping I indulge in. The first one is running to the local kirana store (doubles up as exercise) for curry leaves or a loaf of bread and the second is where I make a huge list and plan an exciting day at a large and well stocked supermarket. (yes, I’m sad like that).
Foodhall @ 1MG Road, has been a regular haunt to pick up all things interesting – wasabi paste…check, gnocchi…check, tarragon vinegar…check, Ras-El-Hanout…check, an elephant…check (ok, just checking to see if you’re paying attention!). So when I received a little hamper from Foodhall, I was pretty thrilled – more ammunition for my kitchen! I wanted to act all Master-cheffy and do a mystery box challenge, but we both must agree that Grilled Chicken and Pasta sounds pretty basic. We however jazz it up by using the red chilli, apricot and rosemary sauce and a twisty coloured pasta. Not so basic anymore huh? 😛 But honestly, repeatable and easy recipes are what I always bookmark and this one finds pride of place in that list. Let’s get cooking…
Easy Grilled Chicken and Pasta
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
What you need:
400 gms skinless Chicken Breast
400 gms Pasta (use the multi-coloured ones for more pizzaz)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ cup Mama Africa’s Red Chilli, Apricot and Rosemary Sauce
Salt and coarsely ground pepper for seasoning
1 large Onion
6 Garlic cloves
2 Tbsp Jalapenos, chopped
2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
1 cup Chicken stock
2 cups Milk
150 gms Cheddar Cheese, grated
½ cup Cilantro, chopped
A grill Pan
A basting brush – I use a silicone one
What to do:
Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Flatten them with a mallet. Season with salt and coarsely ground pepper. Heat a grill pan and brush the pan with olive oil. When the pan is almost smoking hot, place the chicken breasts on the grill pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 mins (stick to the time) on each side. (Note: Don’t move the chicken around once you put it down on the grill – you want those beautiful grill marks). This is one of the easiest ways to grill chicken and add the much needed protein to most of your meals.
To jazz the grilled chicken in this recipe – brush the chicken with the red chilli, apricot and rosemary sauce and place back on the grill for about a minute on each side. The sauce should stick to the chicken but not burn. Transfer the chicken to a plate – cover with foil and let it rest.
In the meantime, place a pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook the pasta till al-dente. Follow packet instructions for time.
In a large saucepan, add the oilve oil and saute the onion and garlic over a medium flame. Now toss in the jalepenos. Now add in the butter and let it melt. Lower the flame and add the flour. Cook for 1-2 mins. Now whisk in the chicken stock. The sauce will start to thicken. Add in 1 cup of Milk, whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add in the remaining milk and whisk well. Let this sauce come to a boil before you toss in the grated cheese. Lower the heat and let it melt into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and the chopped cilantro. Add the cooked pasta along with 1-2 Tbsps of the pasta water to the sauce. Mix gently to coat the pasta.
You can plate the dish in two ways. 1. Dish up the pasta on a plate and lay a whole breast of chicken on top of it. Or 2.Slice the grilled chicken breast on the diagonal into smaller pieces and mix into the pasta. Either way, this is one completely satisfying meal!