Chicken and asparagus penne with crispy skin croutons


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I am so sorry it has been a few weeks since my last post! My bad! It wasn’t really my fault, I was having troubles with my internet provider – spent a total of three hours on the phone with them over three weeks! It’s all sorted now and I’m back in full swing of things! Hope I didn’t leave you all hanging too long, guessing what dish I was preparing and getting ready to share with you!

During the time I’ve been ‘out of action’ I have been doing quite a lot of experimenting with food and different flavours. I have come up with quite a few recipes that I can’t wait to share with you all!

This recipe I’m sharing with you today has always been a favourite with my husband! The creaminess of the sauce combined with the nuttiness of asparagus compliments the chicken perfectly. You would think being a creamy sauce that it would be quite heavy, but that’s the whole reason I use milk and sour cream instead of a thickened cream. It’s quite light and you could easily go back for seconds, no problems!

Usually I throw away the chicken skin, as I’m sure most of us do or maybe we don’t even bother getting chicken breast with skin on, am I right? Being health conscious is great and I don’t suggest you use the chicken skin croutons all the time but every now and again to have some extra oils/fats in out diet is quite fine I think.

Adding the chicken skin croutons just added some ‘crunch’ to the dish and an added depth of flavour. I am so glad I used the skin! When you try this recipe, you’ll see what I’m talking about! I think the croutons just intensify the chicken flavour – yummy!

Everything in this recipe, as with all my recipes, can all be substituted with what you have available in your refrigerator or pantry. Please don’t go rushing out to buy these specific ingredients if you don’t really have to. I’d love to hear what you all used when you made this dish. I love to hear the feedback about your journey with this recipe too! It gives me fresh ideas for when I make this dish again.

I hope you all love this dish. It’s great to have at any time of year and I’m sure it would even be great as a pasta salad! (Just an idea that came into my head as I was writing this post!) Enjoy it and I look forward to hearing from you all soon.

PREP TIME: 15 minutes        COOK TIME: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups penne pasta
1 piece of chicken skin (removed from chicken breast)
1 bunch (10 sprigs) baby asparagus, sliced on the diagonal
2 tablespoons butter
1 chicken breast, skin removed, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup milk
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup sour cream
3 slices Swiss cheese, roughly chopped into quarters
1 tablespoon powdered chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, leaves only, finely chopped

METHOD:
In a large saucepan, bring water to the boil and add the pasta. Follow the packet cooking times, as all vary. I like to remove my pasta 2-3 minutes before cooking times as the pasta will be further cooked in the sauce.

While the pasta is cooking, place a small fry pan/skillet on medium heat and add in the chicken skin. Place a small plate on top of the skin to keep the skin flat. This will ensure the skin doesn’t curl up. After 3-5 minutes check the skin to see if nice & golden – be careful not to get splattered by chicken fat! Turn the skin over and cook for the same amount of time, replacing the plate back on the skin. Once golden, remove & set aside on paper towel to drain the excess fat. Once cooled, cut into small crouton sizes, about half to 1cm squares.

while the chicken skin is crisping up, place a large fry pan on medium heat, with the butter and asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside in a bowl.

In the same fry pan, add the second batch of butter with the chicken breast and garlic. Fry until the chicken has completely changed to a white colour – there should be no pink/raw bits of chicken! Remove and set aside in the same bowl as the asparagus.

In the same fry pan, on medium heat, add the milk, white wine, sour cream, cheese and chicken stock. Combine well with a whisk to ensure to lumps in the sauce. Do not let boil. Turn heat to simmer once it starts bubbling away. Once the cheese has completely melted, add the chicken and asparagus. Pepper to taste. Take off the heat.

Check the pasta. Drain and set aside in the saucepan until needed. I like to add a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of the cream sauce to the pasta so the pasta doesn’t stick together, instead of using oil.

In the sauce pan with the pasta, add the creamy chicken and asparagus sauce, along with the fresh parsley and gently combine until the pasta is well coated in the sauce.

Serve the pasta in desired bowls and sprinkle with the chicken skin croutons on top.

Delicious!

Serves 2 with leftovers for 2 lunches the next day!

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3 thoughts on “Chicken and asparagus penne with crispy skin croutons

  1. […] Pasta, rice and other grain recipes: Pasta romesco with mushrooms Chicken and asparagus penne […]

  2. Foodie November 28, 2013 at 3:54 pm Reply

    Great photo! Another great recipe..

    • missfoodfairy December 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm Reply

      Thanks for liking my photo and recipe. Thank you for following me on my food journey

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