Monday, January 30, 2012

I love my grocery store!

This afternoon when I was checking out at Ken's Fruit Market (KFA) the [person I presume to be the] owner's wife asked me, with no other lead-in, if I was still doing my blog.
Now, I know it's a small store, and The H and I are in there *several* times a week, but I haven't mentioned my blog to her for over a year, since SHE asked ME if I was the "Clean Eating Machine." That interaction came about when I was purchasing leeks for a soup; she asked what in the world someone did with those, so I told her I was trying a new recipe for my blog.

So anyway, today. I was a little bit speechless for a second, but recovered quickly and told her that yes, I am still blogging, and actually recently linked to their website with my post about spilled flour.

And as I stand here in the kitchen, blogging and cooking all at once, I have to mention all the ingredients in tonight's dinner (Artichoke Lemon Chicken Pasta) that came from Ken's:


The only non-KFA items are white wine, chicken broth (I had already gotten it at Costco), artichoke hearts (thank you, Trader Joe's), and gluten-free pasta.

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pasta
from "So Tasty, So Yummy"
serves 4-6

12 ounces pasta
2 strips of bacon
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (omitted)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (half a bag of TJ's frozen ones worked beautifully)
2 teaspoons capers, drained (omitted)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter (omitted)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

**Looking back on this list, it seems I omitted quite a bit--but I don't feel that my changes negatively altered the overall product. It was still creamy and completely flavorful, just with slightly less fat, sodium, and calories. The instructions below reflect how I cooked this meal.**

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Cook pasta as directed; drain and set aside.

2. In a large Dutch oven, cook bacon slices over medium heat. Remove to a paper towel and let cool. Chop into bits when cooled.

3. Cook chicken in bacon grease until lightly browned on each side, and cooked through. Remove to a cutting board lined with paper towel.

4. Add mushrooms and artichokes to Dutch oven; saute until mushrooms are tender. Deglaze the pan with the wine, stirring to loosen all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook two minutes, then add chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook two more minutes, then add cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Slice chicken into strips and add to mushroom-artichoke mixture. Stir in bacon bits and a handful of fresh chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Post-dinner update: This was a hit! Even the little guy had more than one serving, and bravely tried the artichokes. I loved the lemony sauce over the pasta and artichokes, though The H thought he would've enjoyed it more with less lemon. (I have a "thing" for lots of lemon. Ask The H sometime.)

Either way, I look forward to making this again. We did not flour the chicken (for somewhat obvious reasons, I hope) but did add salt and pepper as it cooked. I omitted the butter but left the heavy cream as is, since it's such a small amount anyway. The box of GF pasta I had was only 8oz instead of the 12oz called for, so we had a lot of soupy sauce that we ended up thickening with an arrowroot slurry.

After watching the little guy pick out all the pieces of bacon that had the nerve to end up in his mouth, and tasting the bacony-flavored chicken as I sliced it, I realized I could probably omit the crumbled bacon at the end. Mine turned out crispier than I would've liked anyway, but the flavor was a nice base to start with. We served this with (not seasonal) fresh roasted asparagus.

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