This easy chicken recipe tosses together the winning combinations of pasta, creamy mascarpone cheese, and chicken--yum!
9 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson), divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
8 ounces chopped wild mushroom blend
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Combine 1/4 cup stock and flour. Add flour mixture, 3/4 cup stock, and half-and-half to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mascarpone, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
Heat a skillet over medium heat; coat with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Add thyme and mushrooms; cook 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, and mustard; cook 30 seconds. Add pasta and chicken mixture; toss. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parsley.
If you like butternut squash, try Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta: Prepare Creamy Chicken Pasta through step 2, substituting 8 ounces cavatappi pasta for orecchiette, and omitting flour and half-and-half. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine 4 cups peeled (1-inch) cubed butternut squash, 1 1/2 cups (1-inch-thick) slices shallots, 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves, and 2 (5-ounce) packages shiitake mushroom caps, sliced. Drizzle vegetable mixture with 1 tablespoon olive oil; toss. Transfer squash mixture to a small roasting pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Add vegetable mixture to pasta mixture; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Serves 6 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups) Calories 416; Fat 2g (sat 1g); Sodium 354mg
If you like mascarpone, try Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad: Prepare Creamy Chicken Pasta through step 2, substituting 6 ounces farfalle for orecchiette, adding 8 cups torn Swiss chard to pasta during last 2 minutes of cooking, omitting half-and-half, and reducing flour to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Preheat the oven to 450°. Combine 3/4 cup toasted fresh breadcrumbs, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind, and 3 finely chopped drained canned anchovies. Combine 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes, 1 cup thinly sliced shallots, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Combine the pasta, tomato mixture, and chicken mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Spoon about 1 cup pasta into each of 6 bowls; sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs. Serves 6 Calories 364; Fat 6g (sat 9g); Sodium 446mg
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My fiance and I really enjoyed this although it did involve quite a bit of work. The hour estimate is correct, although I was actively prepping ingredients almost the entire time. I used cream cheese instead of mascarpone because I was afraid the mascarpone would be too sweet and it was delicious.I tend to be a clean as I go kind of cook, but this recipe didn't allow for that so we ended up with quite a few dishes. I use a pasta pot that has a strainer insert. I think next time I will make sure the pasta is done before I start cooking the mushrooms and other veggies, then I'll just cook those (step 3) right in the pasta pot and mix everything back in before serving. I will definitely make this again.
I read all the reviews that raved about this dish, but didn't quite believe it could be that good. I ate way too much of it because it was so delicious, I kept wanting another bite! I used farfalle, since that's what I had on-hand. The only other deviation I made was to use dried parsley, rather than fresh. As others said, using three pans was a lot, but I ended up doing it because I didn't feel organized enough to do it another way. I'm sure with practice I'll get faster making this recipe, because I'm sure I'll make it again.
Further thoughts after having made this a couple more times: I added Brussels sprouts to up the vegetable content, as per another reviewer. I found it weird. Also, even though you know you're going to have leftover mascarpone, don't be tempted to add more than the recipe calls for, or you risk making it too bland. Enjoy!
Fabulous recipe! Deserves more than 5 stars. It takes longer to prepare than the time stated, but it so worth it. We believe it is a restaurant quality dish. It has been added to our list of favorites.
This recipe is amaze balls! One of Cooking Light's best! Try it and be amazed. Also, I would be doing a disservice if I failed to also encourage everyone who tries and loves this recipe to try the Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta recipe too. It is billed as a variant on this recipe, although truthfully the flavors are quite different: and do not worry, this is a very, very good thing indeed because now you will have two awesome recipes to add to your permanent rotation. I actually really loved this recipe (made exactly as written), but after trying the recipe for Butternut Squash and Chicken Pasta I have to give it the slight edge. But if Cooking Light continues to sell them in tandem, they both deserve a spot on any future lists that they title, "best Cooking Light recipes ever"!
Made this dish for my parents - everyone loved it! I, too, used the same pan to sauté the chicken, and then the mushrooms/onions. I used about 1/3 less chicken than the recipe called for, but added a container of baby portobellos - delicious! The dish freezes well.
I made this for lunch one day for our walking group. Everyone loved it especially since it was creamy and a light dish. My husband had some of the leftovers later that night and enjoyed it. I had the rest of the leftovers the next day for lunnch. I also used olive oil instead of the cooking spray for some flavor and I find that things do not stick as much when cooking with olive oil. For dessert I served your White Russian Tiramisu which everyone loved as well.
My family loved this dinner. The leftovers were even more flavorful than the first night. I used medium shells, like a previous reviewer--couldnt find what was recommended in the recipe. Still, so good, so easy. I used champagne vinegar bc its what I had on hand.
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