My niece is here on a visit from California. I miss her as she grew up a few hundred feet from my house and left when she was a grown woman to marry and start her family. Having her back home with us is always a treat. She is a busy bee but when she takes time to come visit us, myself and her cousins(my children), it is triple the fun.
One of the pastas she likes best is the mushroom and chicken, which I wanted to make for her, but I also wanted to make it different and special. I always use cream when making the mushroom pasta, but this time, I thickened it with ricotta, what a great idea and how yummy!
So here is a recipe to make that is worth the time, and perfect to share.
My recipe makes enough for 12. Halve the ingredients to make it for 6.
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. lemon juice
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. herbs of choice (I used a local herb and garlic flower mix called Délice à la fleur d’ail)
5 large chicken breasts, sliced against the grain in even pieces
2 boxes 900 gram Linguini or equivalent
8 c. sliced mushrooms
6 c. broccoli florets
1 c. diced onions
2 tsp. dried garlic flowers (optional, 3 heads garlic would work also)
2 tbsp. FaC’s Seasoning mix or 1 tbsp. sea salt, 2 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, ½ tsp. onion salt and garlic powder.
½ c. vermouth
4 c. chicken stock
1 ½ to 2 c. ricotta
1 c. Romano cheese
For the marinade, cut even lengths of the chicken breasts against the grain and place in a bowl.
Add all the ingredients for the marinade to the bowl or ziplock bag and mix into the chicken pieces. Let it rest at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
Pour ¼ c. olive oil in a medium hot pan. Brown the chicken in batches and cook through, careful not to crowd your pan. Place in a 250° F oven to keep warm. Add more olive oil if needed to brown the chicken.
Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan you cooked the chicken in and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes, till translucent. Add the mushrooms and the seasoning including the dried garlic flowers. Let the mushroom cook down till there is no more liquid left in the pan, this takes approximately 15 minutes.
Add the vermouth and simmer 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue simmering another 10 minutes.
Start cooking your pasta in salted boiling water according to the instructions.
Add the broccoli and cook 8 minutes.
Stir in the ricotta, your sauce might look slightly grainy, don’t worry about it. Add the Romano cheese and stir.
Before pouring the pasta and cooking water out of the pot, use a handled measuring cup and save 2 cups of the pasta water. Strain the pasta and place in your serving bowl. Add the mushroom broccoli sauce over the pasta and stir gently, if the sauce is too tight, use the pasta water to loosen.
Remove chicken pieces from the oven and place over the pasta, sprinkle with extra Romano cheese and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
SERVE AND ENJOY