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.



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§ 9 Responses to Spring chicken pasta and why I’m not a good 20-something.

  • Jen, you made me laugh here. 20 something Nanna indeed 😉 Having said all that, I confess to a teeny tiny side of me that sometimes resists the heels, short skirts & tequila slammers too.., although I kid myself its because I spend so much time ‘in hospitality’ that its actually the last thing I want to go play in – but I suspect there is a health 20 something Nanna that lives within too …, sometimes…, not always mind!! Gotta look after the rep mind!!

  • Jennifer, you asked about a noodle maker in Sydney? If you are looking for Japanese noodle makers, at Jugemu & Shimbashi in Neutral Bay, they make them from scratch and you can watch them doing so in their window 🙂

  • Your brother is very attractive says:

    You are the QUEEN of short skirts!! Must be a summer thaaaang.

  • THere’s nothing wrong in just being who you are. I was never a partier either.
    Yummy looking pasta dish!
    *kisses* HH

  • ducky says:

    Perfect weather for lighter dishes now that summer seems almost possible after a long,damp,dreary winter.Your spring chicken pasta sounds delicious and reminds me that I poached chicken breasts last week and made my yummy Bang Bang chicken which really suited the milder temperatures we had last week. You should make it before you move to the cold season in USA !!!

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