Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Chili Lime Chicken Pasta

The flavours of Chili and Lime go so well together and this is a great recipe if you have leftover cooked chicken or if you are thinking of what you can make with those chicken breasts you bought. 

You will need:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken chopped or 2 breasts chopped
  • 2 cups small bow tie pasta- measured uncooked
  • 1/2- 1 cup starchy pasta water (just before straining pasta)
  • 1 red chili
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1 sweet red pepper half sliced  into strips and 1/2 pepper grated on box grater
  • 1 tomato -chopped fine or grated on box grater
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro

Step 1: prep all ingredients. Chop chicken (fresh or cooked) slice chili, sweet pepper, chop cilantro and crush garlic.

Step 2: in large pot boil water and once boiling add 1 tbsp salt and pasta. Cook to directions on package to al dente (which means "to the tooth or a bit hard)

Step 3: In a large saute pan add olive oil, chicken and spices. Add  oregano, cumin, chili powder and  cayenne. If you find the pan getting dry add bit more oil as necessary.

Step 4: add sweet pepper and tomato can be chopped or I like to cut a tomato in half and grate it into the pan leaving the skin to discard. I do this with 1/2 the sweet pepper as well. It makes a bit of a simple sauce.

Step 5: add remaining ingredients. vinegar, lime juice and bit of zest. Cook 1 minute.

Step 6: add pasta and 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water.Do not underestimate the power of the pasta water to finish pasta and make it smooth and silky.  Toss and combine, if too dry add a bit more water. Finish off heat with chopped cilantro. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Step 7: serve with a drizzle of good olive oil.

I like to serve with some toasted bread rubbed once with a raw clove of garlic and a bit of good olive oil and sea salt or you can take a chunk of tomato and squish it on the the bead as well. 

The Tuscans call this kind bread Fettunta which means oily bread.

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