Wednesday, September 4, 2013

wicked chicken rigatoni

Wiki-wiki! That's my attempt at sounding like a DJ. Not very convincing. And this is called "wicked" chicken rigatoni, but it's not TOO wicked. Just mildly spicy. To us, anyway. I got inspired to make this dish from an episode of Diner's, Drive-Ins and Dives, and so this is my spin on that dish.
To cook the chicken, I sliced them into cutlets and pan seared them in butter. Yes, butter. It makes them so crispy and tasty.
See how golden and delicious the butter makes them? You barely need to season them because the butter brings out the flavor anyway.
Pull the chicken from the pan and let it cook enough to be handled. Then, dice the chicken into pieces and set aside. It's time to make the sauce.
Onion, garlic and LOTS of red pepper flake is the start of this. Add the red pepper flake so that it can become aromatic and pungent. Let this brown up a bit until it looks like...
...this! The pepper flake will turn the onion slightly orange and it's all good.
To that, add a large can of tomato sauce and the half and half to start the rest of the sauce.
You get this orangey kind of sauce, and then let it come to a simmer.
Here's where the sauce becomes more like a tomato alfredo... LOTS of parmesan cheese is dumped in to cream it up even more. At this point, give the sauce a taste and make sure it doesn't need a little more pepper or salt.
Stir in the pasta and chicken...
And this is what you'll come up with! It won't be as wicked as you think, but you can always add more red pepper flake at the end!
Wicked Chicken Rigatoni
2 Tablespoons butter
2 chicken breast, sliced into cutlets
1/8 teaspoons black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon miced garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flake
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb rigatoni pasta, prepared according to package directions

In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and place into hot butter. Sear on both sides for several minutes, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Diced chicken and set aside. In the same pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, minced garlic and crushed red pepper flake until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in tomato sauce and reduce heat. Stir in half and half and bring heat back up to a low simmer. Add in grated parmesan cheese and stir until completely melted. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Add in rigatoni and diced chicken and stir to combine. Serve immediately and enjoy!