August 25, 2012

Linguini & Roast Chicken

Do you ever have those moments when a completely random thought pops into your head out of the blue for no apparent reason at all?   This happens to me so frequently, that I'm starting to wonder if this is normal...  Well, that is how this recipe ended up here.  

I used to make this for dinner once or twice a month about 10 years ago, then because I had it so often I got sick of it and haven't made it since.  As soon as I tasted it again I realized WHY I ate it so often.  It's really, really good. 

It is about as uncomplicated as you can get, but the flavors are amazing.  The pan juices from the chicken are the sauce for the pasta with a few little goodies thrown in.   Let's talk about the sauce for a minute... 
I know some of you are going to groan that I would suggest tossing pasta in a little bit of chicken fat, but fat is FLAVOR. 

I'm not suggesting you dive into a block of lard with a knife and fork.  The amount of fat is roughly a few tablespoons and unless you've had a triple bypass already, it won't kill you, so live a little...  have a salad for lunch & all will right with the world.

I would normally give you a free pass to use a store-bought roasted chicken, but not this time.   It's the juices from the roasting pan that make this dish.  The deep, roasted flavor that you can not get from anything other than roasting your own chicken.   If you try to use a store-bought chicken anyway, I'll know... 
so don't even think about it

Linguini with Roasted Chicken & Pine Nuts
-recipe adapted from Claudia Roden
  • 3 1/2 - 4 pound chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 pound linguini
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed & chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 stalks celery, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Lay the celery in the roasting pan & set the chicken on top of it.  Rub chicken with the oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Place the garlic & the sprigs of thyme around the chicken and roast for 1 hour or until juices run clear.   Let chicken rest 10 - 15 minutes before cutting.

While the chicken is resting, boil the pasta.  Remove 1 cup of boiling pasta water to soak golden raisins.  Let the raisins soak for a few minutes while you get on with the sauce. 

Pour the juice from the roasting pan into a small saucepan.  Add the rosemary, pine nuts and drained golden raisins.  Let the sauce simmer for 5 - 10 minutes.   While the sauce is simmering, pull the meat (and the lovely crispy skin!) from the chicken and set aside.

Drain pasta, toss with chicken and sauce in a large bowl.

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