Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mackenzie's Chicken & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

Tonight I knew I wanted to have something more than Cheerios or a bean burrito for dinner (though those are two of my favorites when I am pressed for time), but I couldn't decide what I wanted to make. I went back through some cookbooks and came across this recipe that my dear friend, Mackenzie McCracken Averbuch, made for girls' dinner a few years ago.  We sat in her little kitchen at the Villager, drinking some wine, discussing (for the millionth time) how wonderful it was that we have remained such close friends for over 20 years and I watched as she threw this dish together without hardly even referencing the recipe.  I love this because sometimes the kitchen becomes the gathering place in my house and the last thing I want  to do is have my nose stuck in a cookbook.  It is such a versatile pasta dish, too.  Add a little more of the things you like, a little less of those you don't or come up with some new ideas to throw in there and try.  ENJOY!!!

Mackenzie's Chicken & Sun-dried Tomato Pasta

4 chicken breast halves (skinless and boneless)
1 - 7oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp snipped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil crushed
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 tbsp of capers
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz pasta (use whatever you prefer, but I like linguine or fettuccine)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces; set aside. 
Drain sun-dried tomatoes, reserve the oil. Carefully chop tomatoes; set aside.
In a 12 inch skillet (I recommend using something with higher sides as the pan can get rather full and hard to stir all the ingredients if the pan is too small) heat tablespoon of the reserved oil from the tomatoes over medium heat.  
Add onion, garlic and cook until tender.  
Add chicken and cook for about 8 minutes or until chicken is tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, start cooking the pasta.  
Add basil and tomatoes to the chicken mixture; cook 1 minute more.  
Stir in olives, capers, olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp of the reserved oil from the tomatoes; heat through. 
Drain pasta and add to chicken mixture and toss well; sprinkle with Parmesan 
cheese to complete.

Annie's licking her chops in anticipation!!!

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