Thursday, March 10, 2011

Provencal Grilled Chicken and Herbed Penne

I am Italian and could probably eat pasta everyday if I was allowed to. The thing I love about pasta dishes is that you can mix  in almost any combination of ingredients to make it taste completely new and exciting. This recipe, adapted from the Better Homes & Gardens website, combines pasta, veggies, herbs de Provence and some sharp Asiago cheese. For those of you who do not own a spice called herbs de Provence, I would highly recommend picking one up - you can use it in so many different ways. It is basically a blend of multiple spices such as thyme, tarragon, dried lemon zest, fennel seeds, lavender and bay leaf. It is most popularly used in French cooking. Here are a few recipes from other fun blogs that involve herbs de Provence for your viewing pleasure:
Herbs de Provence Chicken
Roasted Potatoes Herbs de Provence
Pork Tenderloin with Herb Glaze
Provencal Stuffed Portabellos

8 ounces penne pasta (I used ziti)
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb total)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise (I cut it into four pieces, lengthwise)
8 thick asparagus spears (8-10 ounces total), trimmed (I bought skinny asparagus so used roughly 20 spears)
3 tbsp olive oil (I used about 6 tbsp)
1 tbsp herbes de Provence, crushed (crushing it brings out the flavor)
1 tbsp snipped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1/2 cup shredded Asiago or Pecorino Romano cheese (I used more than that!)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, rinse chicken; pat dry. Brush chicken, zucchini and asparagus with 1 tbsp of the oil; sprinkle all sides with herbs de Provence and 1/2 tsp salt.

2. Place the chicken in center of the lightly greased rack of an uncovered grill; place the zucchini and asparagus around chicken. Grill directly over medium heat for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink and vegetables are tender, turning once. I roasted the zucchini and asparagus in the oven and cooked the chicken on my grill pan on top of the stove. 

3. Transfer chicken and vegetables to cutting board; cool slightly. Cut chicken and zucchini into 1-inch cubes; slice asparagus into 1-inch-long pieces. Drain pasta; return to saucepan. Add chicken, vegetables, remaining oil and thyme to pasta; toss well. Divide among 4 dinner plates; top with cheese and season with pepper. I put the 1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese and the extra 3 tbsp olive oil into the saucepan with all the other ingredients. THEN, I put extra shredded cheese on top of my dish.

This is a great way to get a large serving of vegetables into your pasta (not to be a mom or anything). Next time I make this recipe, I will use 2-3 zucchini's and a bit more asparagus, but keep the chicken and pasta amounts the same. Roasting them really imparts great flavor - it is my favorite way to eat them!

Tutti Mangia!


Alyssa said...

This looks like everything I want and more!! Yummm :)

Syl said...

This definitely looks like something I would eat. Could you help me the next time I attempt to cook?

Spike said...

I'm not Italian but I'm with on having pasta every day! Love herbs de provence, especially with roasted veggies.

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