Spring chicken pasta and why I’m not a good 20-something.
October 18, 2010 § 9 Comments
I’m a 22 year-old Nanna. I usually prefer to stay home with a nice dinner and a movie rather than hit the clubs, pubs and parties that are frequented by the rest of my peers. My version of ‘going out’ is pretty tame – dinner at a restaurant or friend’s house with wine, instead of short skirts and tequila shots. There’s no denying it, no avoiding it, and by this time I fear little hope in changing it. What excites me though is when I make friends who are also keen for a quiet night in. My Friday night date girl, AB, is a great example, we’re like a crisp semillon with fresh, cold prawns. She’s just as content as I am with a homecooked meal and a quiet space, but will also whip me into heels and young-adult mode every now and again when there’s potential that the knitting needles have become a permanent fixture in my handbag (on one school excursion I knitted all the way from my hometown to Canberra – an 11 hour bus trip. I think it was around this time that the dye was set).
Friday night with a spring pasta of poached chicken, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket.
Lemon zest, dill, parlsey, mint, garlic, olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic – fresh and aromatic.
Treat recipes like ideas, not gospel. This dish started in my head as Donna Hay’s spring meatballs.
Perfect poached chicken breast (medium sized breast): Bring saucepan of water to the boil. Carefully slide chicken breast into liquid and immediately reduce to a simmer – if you have bad electric hotplates you might need to transfer the saucepan to
another plate that you have been heating on very low. DO NOT LIFT LID. Simmer for 6 minutes. DO NOT LIFT LID. Remove saucepan from heat and leave to stand for 12 minutes. Remove chicken from liquid, wrap in foil and rest for 5-10 minutes.
How to pit olives. If you’re like me you probably don’t like the taste of pitted olives from the deli, they seem to absorb too much liquid and become either tangy and almost artificial or dry and bland. To easily remove pips from olives, squash olive with side of your knife blade and they slide right out. Too easy!
Add chopped chillies, chopped fresh tomatoes and a slug of white wine. Simmer, covered over a low heat while you sip your drink and have a slice of cheese.
Everything, including the pasta, can be cooked ahead and then reheat, adding the drained pasta into the sauce.
This means the final wash up is left to one saucepan as boards, knives, graters etc can be washed and dried before you finish cooking.