Thursday, January 17, 2008

Creamy Chicken and Snow Pea Penne

Tenski felt like a creamy pasta dish last night, so here's what was cobbled together...

250g Gluten Free Penne (San Remo)
500g Chicken thigh fillets, cut into small bite size pieces
250g Snow Peas, top and tailed
1 ½ cups of Stock (Vegeta make a selection of gluten free stocks that are excellent)
¾ cup fresh cream
½ cup Parmesan, grated, to garnish

Fill a large saucepan with water, add a pinch of salt and cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet. If you prepare the rest of the ingredients while this is happening, you should finish roughly as the pasta is al dente. For those of you not yet in the know, al dente means just cooked, because pasta, like the roast I cooked last night, keeps cooking even when you’ve taken it off the burner. Just the residual heat trapped within the food itself is enough to overcook it while it’s left standing, so if you can school yourself to take things off the boil just as they are almost done, then they will be perfect by the time you have everything else together and ready to serve.

Heat a large frying pan to just over medium heat and coat the bottom of the pan with a layer of whichever oil is your favourite to cook with. I love Rice Bran Oil because its very light and the flavour (unlike olive oil) doesn’t dominate whatever you are cooking. Since becoming a Coeliac and eating almost entirely unprocessed foods, I taste so much more. Strong flavours like olive oil and garlic I try to avoid, because they stand over more delicate flavours like snow peas and a beautiful organic chicken. So yes, rice bran oil or something simular for me. Place the chicken in the pan, cook until almost done (slightly golden) then add the stock and reduce the heat a little. You want the stock to bubble away until there is roughly a quarter of what there was at first (watch the tide line) to strengthen the flavour of the chicken. Then add the cream to the stock, to make a light sauce. I then season it in the pan, add the snow peas and pasta, then serve right away.

Let your guests do their own garnishing with parmesan; some people might prefer it without it. Me? I can never have too much cheese, so bring it on!

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