Pasta + Chicken + Creamy Sauce = Happy Me
Unfortunately, Happy Me did not know know to make a gluten-free version with a homemade sauce.
Yes, homemade as in no glass jars.
My cooking skills just did not include that.
Long story short, I Googled gluten-free pasta dishes, Googled creamy pasta dishes, Googled chicken pasta dishes, and in the process found several recipes on Chicken Milano.
I ended up merging ingredients that were gluten-free to make the dish.
It seemed simple enough. And really was, once I got over my fear of using heavy cream.
The dish turned out to be ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
I’m a good cook, but even I was surprised at the results.
Here is the recipe:
Chicken Milano (Gluten-free Style)
- 1 pack of chicken breast (I used Gerber Farm’s Amish chicken breast. It comes with 3 chicken breasts. You could use more or less chicken, a different meat all together, or go meat-less)
- 1 cup of heavy cream (I used Organic Valley’s organic heavy whipping cream)
- 1.5 cups of chicken broth (I used Field Day Organic’s free range organic chicken broth)
- 1 cup white wine (I used Oak Leaf Vineyard’s pinot grigio)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced (I used Christopher Ranch’s organic peeled garlic. I love this garlic because it is peeled and vacuum-sealed for freshness in individual little pouches. I am a garlic lover…you can use less)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter (I used Simple Truth Organic unsalted butter)
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (I used Bella Sun Luci’s julienne-cut sun dried tomatoes)
- 1.5 tbsp dried basil (I used Simple Organic’s basil)
- 3/4 cup parmesan(I used Organic Valley’s shredded parmesan)
- 3 bay leaves (I used Simple Organic’s bay leaves…..by the way, bay leaves are my secret ingredient to every pasta sauce I make. They just add such a great flavor! You’re welcome ;-)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp garlic powder, optional (what?? I told you I love garlic.)
- honey to taste (I used Don Popp’s Honeyfarm’s raw honey. I used 2-3 tbsp because I feel that garlic and a very slight sweetness go very well together. This is optional.)
- 2 splashes of vinegar (I used Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. I kept tasting the sauce towards the end and thought that something was just missing. I remembered all of the times I have heard Food Network Chopped judges talk about dishes lacking acidity and I thought VIOLA thats it! And it worked. FYI, splashes are often equivalent to a tablespoon. I would measure the vinegar if you fear pouring too much)
- 8-1o ounces of gluten-free pasta, dry (I used SamMill’s 100% corn pasta)
- seasoning for chicken breasts (I used Trader Joe’s garlic-salt and Simple Organic’s paprika)
1.) Preheat oven to 450. (I love to oven-roast chicken, so this is how I prepared mine. You could prepare the chicken however you like it.)
2.) Start by seasoning chicken with garlic salt and then pan searing it in a cast iron skillet for about 3 minutes on both sides. Once you achieve a good sear, sprinkle paprika on each breast and transfer the whole skillet of chicken into the oven. Cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked with no pink inside. Slice cooked chicken and place to the side. To save time, while chicken is cooking you could start the sauce and then add sliced chicken in at the end.
3.) Heat olive oil over medium heat and add mushrooms. Saute for 5-8 minutes, turning to ensure even browning. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, using spatula to stir often and prevent burning. Add tomatoes, olive oil, white wine, basil, bay leaves, and butter. Reduce slightly. Cover, and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes over low heat.
4.) Add chicken, parmesan, and heavy cream while stirring over low heat. Add honey, salt, pepper to taste. Add 2 splashes of apple cider vinegar. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the optional garlic powder, if desired.
5.) While sauce is simmering, add dry pasta to boiling water. Cook to al dente. Rinse pasta in cold water (this is a little trick that I learned from my mother to prevent the pasta from getting mushy).
6.) Remove sauce from heat. Discard bay leaves (half of the battle is finding them, lol). Add cooked pasta. Stir, then cover to allow flavors to “mesh” together with pasta.
7.) Sprinkle finished product with pinch of dry basil for dramatic effect ;-) and enjoy!!
I am all about tasting and adding spices to achieve my desired taste. The honey and vinegar were added on the fly. Likewise, if you have any special spices that you love….try adding them. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you get.
Also, the sauce was a lot less creamy than I wanted it to be at first so I thought to add cornstarch. Somehow I grabbed baking soda and added 2 tsp of it before I realized the error!! It fizzed for a bit and then settled down. I’m beyond thankful that it did not ruin the dish. Once I added the pasta, the sauce thickened on its own so the cornstarch was not necessary. In hind sight, even if the sauce was a little thinner it would still taste amazing!!
© Kelley Daniel, http://www.missingmarkers.com, 2014