Ever have those moments where it seem like the universe chooses the exact moment you want to get something done really badly, to conspire against you at every turn? No? I might be paranoid. Probably not the greatest way to start a post with the words “crazy” and “mally” in it.
Anywho, one such moment happened to me last night, when it rolled around time for me to leave work and I realized that DANG I was hungry! But of course, the universe decided to step in and say “ha ha, you who snack all the time except today, I will make it very hard for you to eat your dinner in a timely fashion tonight, as you anguish in your desire for culinary sustenance.” The universe uses a lot of big words sometimes, which makes me cranky, even crankier than I was before I was finally able to eat last night.
First off, my train took like FOR-EVAH to leave the station. Then, it stopped in between the stations for like another million minutes, with no ‘splanation as to why we weren’t moving. And seriously, the whole time, I was thinking about food. Specifically, olives. And lemons. And chicken. And pasta. And tomatoes. An idea started to hatch, as my tummy kept on a-grumblin’. Finally, when we got to my stop, EVERYONE decided to pull on their slow-walking pants and trudge at the speed of frozen molasses towards the exit, thwarting any attempts of my fast-pants-wearing self from escaping to dinnertime bliss.
OK, as I’m reading this I realize I probably sound really obnoxious and pretty impatient. However, I think it’s okay to share even my not-so-awesome moments, as these are things you probably should know about me. And besides… Girl’s Gotta Eat!!!
Long(er) story short, I was so hungry by the time that I got home that I actually ate a (large) handful of Cooler Ranch Doritos before I could wait for my meal to finish. I love Doritos. This is also something you should know about me.
Wait, no, that was not the point of this story! The point is, I made my own dreams come true last night with a dish that combined basically every one of my favorite flavors, in a pretty hodge-podge way. In fact, as I was cooking, my boyfriend asked me what the heck I was doing over there in the kitchen. I replied with the ingredients I was working with, and he said, “You’re crazy.”
Damn right. I’m crazy- crazy for some noms!
And with that, I present…
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- dashes of salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika
- 4 cups cooked pasta (any kind), cooked and drained
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- ⅓ cup green olives, halved
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- ½ cup white wine
- juice and zest of one lemon
- ¼ cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350. Pat dry your chicken breasts with a paper towel. Place them in a baking dish, and season generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Bake chicken for 35-40 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees on a kitchen thermometer. Remove from oven, and shred into pieces by pulling apart the chicken with two forks.
- Heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. Once melted, add minced shallot and garlic, and cook until nice and soft, without letting anything burn, 2-3 minutes. Add olives and tomatoes, and continue to cook until tomatoes start to release their liquids and everything starts to stew together and smell awesome.
- Add wine, lemon juice and zest and allow to come to a simmer. Add shredded chicken, cooked pasta, and toss to combine. Garnish generously with parsley and toss one more time, then serve.
I really loved the way this came out, and not even because I was so hungry. The sauce is delicious and could be used on anything from chicken to fish to just regular pasta on its own. It’s rich, but tangy and light because of the lemons.
P.S. When I say “any kind” in the ingredients section for the pasta- I mean it. I went with the weirdest pasta I had on hand- wagon wheels. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had wagon wheel pasta, if ever, but I figured it made sense here since I was already feeling a little loopy (get it?!). But linguine or other long pasta would also go great here!