Recipe: Pasta with Grilled Chicken and Roasted Peppers

I need to post recipes more often. I have stumbled upon at least a dozen repeatable creations in the last few months and always intend to write them down but so far it’s never been more than an intention. Now I’m not sure I could duplicate them… Roasted pepper and orzo soup with feta. Butternut squash, barley, and turkey stew with orange, rosemary, and allspice. Spicy baked potato soup with toasted potato skins. Obviously I’ve been on a soup kick.

Tonight was a quick pasta and it turned out so satisfying. The best thing about it was the combination of oregano and black pepper. If you’ve never thought of oregano as a spicy herb you haven’t smelled it fresh off the plant. Pairing it with black pepper completes that spicy quality and they enhance each other. I roasted a couple bell peppers and broiled boneless chicken breast, then made a simple browned-butter white sauce with fresh cracked pepper and (unfortunately, dried) oregano and stirred in a generous amount of fresh parmesan. Shell pasta went in the bottom of each bowl, topped with slices of roasted pepper in three colors, sliced chicken breast, and sauce, and garnished with more grated parmesan.

Recipe for Pasta with Grilled Chicken & Roasted Peppers
Serves 6-8

3-4 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange)
2-3 lb chicken breast
1 lb pasta (shells, penne, etc.), prepared according to directions
4 TBSP butter
4 TBSP flour
1/2 to 1 tsp dried oregano, or comparable fresh chopped
fresh course ground black pepper
1 3/4 c milk
2/3 c fresh grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 450 F and lay the peppers, halved and seeded and skin-side up, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Roast 25-30 minutes or until skins are blistered. Remove to an airtight bag or bowl and let them sweat until cool. This process will release the skins so they can be easily peeled away.

While peppers are roasting, prepare the chicken to be grilled or broiled with a sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides. Slicing it and/or tenderizing to about 1/2″ thick will allow for quick, even cooking without drying out the outside, about 5 minutes each side. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.

To make the sauce, melt butter over medium-high heat until it begins to brown. Stir in the flour and continue to brown another minute or two, adding oregano, salt to taste, and a generous amount of black pepper. You should have a smooth, bubbly, amber-colored paste. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in milk, continuing to stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in 1/3 c. parmesan until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Slice the chicken and peeled peppers and layer in bowls of pasta. Top with sauce and garnish with remaining parmesan.

Sorry, no pictures…

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