Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spaghetti with Garlic-Herb Gravy, Lemon-Marinated Chicken and Tomatoes

Like many American kids, I grew up thinking that spaghetti meant long, thin noodles covered with a tomato-based sauce, usually spooned out of a jar. That brand of pasta is still served around my house, usually when the cupboard is getting bare and I'm putting off grocery shopping, so I'm not knocking that suburban classic.

My favorite pasta dishes as an adult, however, are far more subtle and refined. I love a sauce that clings to noodles rather than drowning them. I love the freshness and quality of ingredients to shine through rather than relying on the pre-made or canned. This garlic-herb gravy satisfies on both counts. In lieu of thyme and parsley, any herb you have on hand or in the garden will work wonderfully, including rosemary, sage, basil and even mint. Plus, using Kary's Dry Roux to thicken the sauce creates a mellow, toasted flavor that I really enjoy.

Once you get used to this method, I promise, this pasta dish takes only minutes longer than the "spaghetti" of my youth, yet feels fancy enough to serve to company.

Spaghetti with Garlic-Herb Gravy, Lemon-Marinated Chicken and Tomatoes
by Kate 
adapted from Goddess of Scrumptiousness

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling the pan
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 Tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tablespoons Kary's Dry Roux
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 pound spaghetti, or pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Begin by marinating the chicken. Combine thyme, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add chicken and cover -- or put the marinade and chicken in a large sealed Ziploc bag -- and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as overnight.

Heat a large, deep saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil, saute the chicken with the remaining marinade. When barely cooked through, set chicken aside.

In the same pan, begin the garlic gravy. Add another small amount of olive oil and butter, then saute garlic until soft and fragrant. Stir in the Kary's Dry Roux and the chicken broth. Whisk well to combine, and continue whisking until mixture begins a slow boil and is incorporated. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon or reaches your desired thickness. Add more roux or broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce thickens, cook your pasta.

Add the cooked chicken to the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti and tomatoes. Stir well, and heat over low until all ingredients are again warm.

Last, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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