Sunday, March 6, 2011

Penne with Chicken, Asparagus, and Lemon

From The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.

This cookbook has some of the recipes from the best light recipes book that I love, but not all of the recipes are light.  Most are quick and family-friendly.  I also like that it's in a binder and so lays flat when you're trying to read them/cook.

This will be a new recipe for me this week.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2-3), trimmed and sliced thin
1 leek, whte and green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
2 tsp all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 oz)
2 tsp grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
1 bunch medium-size asparagus (about 1 lb), tough ends trimmed, and sliced on the bias into 1-inch lengths
12 oz whole-wheat pasta
2 tbsp shredded fresh basil

1.  Heat 1 1/2 tsp of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, break up any clumps, and cook until lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 3 min.  Transfer to a bowl.

2.  Add the remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil to the skillet and return to medium heat until shimmering.  Add the leek and cook until softened, about 5 min.  Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 min.  Slowly whisk in the broth and wine and bring to a simmer, scraping up and browned bits.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 15 min.

4.  While that is cooking, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.  Add the asparagus and 1 tbsp salt and cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 2-4 min.  With a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Return the water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook, stirring often, until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

5.  Return the chicken with any accumulated juice to the skillet.  Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 min.  Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Add the chicken-broth mixture, asparagus, and basil to the pasta and toss to combine.  Before serving, add the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce.

Per 1 2/3 cup serving:  380 cal, 7g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 44g carb, 29 g protein, 8 g fiber, 540 mg sodium.  9 pts plus.

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