12-17: Curly Pasta with Creamy Chicken

12-17: Curly Pasta with Creamy Chicken sounds like a recipe my mom or I would have attempted back in the days we were cooking out of this book–it’s possible we did and never marked the card. Both of us were suckers for dishes just like this. ?

I probably would have made this recipe earlier if curly pasta was easier to come by–I wanted to find just the right shape for this dish. I have a fascination with different pasta shapes. ?

4/13/19 EDIT: Speaking of pasta shapes, take a look at the cover photo for the very similar 12-7: Fettuccini with Creamy Chicken and the one above. Notice anything strange?

This is a cream sauce that uses a basic roux & sour cream, with a bit of mustard to add tang and chicken broth to add savoriness. I’ve been learning the benefits of balancing all your flavors (acid is always the one everyone forgets), and it really does make a difference.

It’s important to read your recipes and make sure they’re balancing their flavors as well–I made a broccoli-cheese soup today for work that greatly benefitted from a few (off-recipe) splashes of apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients. I went with campanelle shapes for my “curly pasta.” I didn’t have any precooked chicken, but I did have some frozen chicken breasts that are easy to defrost in the microwave or sink.

Starting off with my pasta water, you can see the salt in the bottom. Salting it doesn’t help it boil faster (that I know of), but it does make the pasta taste better.

Frozen chicken breasts–exciting.

Defrosted the chicken just enough to slice it–leaving it slightly frozen can give you cleaner cuts.

Butter in the saucepan to melt.

Mixing in flour to make a roux.

After stirring in the chicken broth.

Zesting my lemon on a VERY sharp microplane-esque grater.

Browning the chicken slices, since it wasn’t cooked chicken yet.

Added the chicken, mustards, and lemon to the sauce mixture.

Tossed the creamy chicken with the curly campanelle pasta.

Final picture–it was pretty good (if not a tiny bit bland) and I think even the pickiest eaters would be okay with it (unless they’re vegetarian/dairy-free/gluten-free/whatever).

Grade: A-