Monday, August 29, 2011

Spice Rubbed Chicken over Spaghetti with Salsa Verde Cream Sauce

Sometimes a meal goes into the meal plan and then doesn't get made for whatever reason.  So, I put it in the next week's meal plan.  Something like this was planned for tonight's dinner; the chicken needed to marinate for two hours, I still hadn't gotten around to it and time was ticking, then I realized my chicken was still partially frozen.

I turned to my BFF Google Reader and came up with this little recipe from A Taste of Home Cooking
Now, if you've been paying any attention, you can probably guess what my husband's response was when I told him the name of the dish, "Is it going to be spicy?  Is A going to eat it?"  I said, "No, it's got spiCES, but isn't spiCY.  And, no, he won't eat it, unless it tastes like PB&J."

So, I move on.  I make this really quick to put together dinner.  The cooked chicken smells awesome; I'm reminded of the chicken fajitas I almost ordered when we went to Friday's the other night.  Then I made the sauce, which also smelled out of this world. 

We sat down to eat, and no surprise, the 1 year old dug right into the pasta and didn't touch the chicken (Funny story from last night, he was actually sucking the sauce off his chicken pieces and putting the sauce-less chicken on his plate).  I really liked mine, because really, what's not to like?  My husband was like this is fine, I'd eat it again (yeah, what feedback.)  AND....

A ate it.  And said he REALLY liked it.  And that it was a keeper and I should make it all the time (as long as I make him mac and cheese too).  M commented that it was in fact spicy, but I said it was the pasta's sauce, which he was eating, so definite score there!

You have to try this recipe!  It's so easy to put together, you can get the spice rub made up in advance and have even less to do during the dinner dash.  If I can find a foolproof (because, at least when it comes to this, I'm a total fool) Mexican rice recipe, I will absolutely make it to go along next time.  The chicken has so much flavor, and the sauce on the pasta adds a whole new level of flavor and texture.

Spice Rubbed Chicken over Spaghetti with Salsa Verde Cream Sauce Source: A Taste of Home Cooking

1 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup salsa verde
1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside.

Place chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper into a small bowl, stirring to combine. Sprinkle over both sides of chicken, then rub. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large, oven-safe pot over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes each side. Continue cooking another few minutes to make sure the chicken is completely cooked. Remove from pan and cover with foil until ready to serve.

In the now-empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking and stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, tomatoes, sour cream and cilantro, stirring to combine. Just before serving add cooled pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.

Cut chicken into slices. Spoon pasta into serving bowls and top with slices of chicken breast. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro, if desired.

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