Pasta Poultry

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

We are halfway through December, and I am finally finished with school for the semester! Unfortunately, that does not mean that I will be picking up on the blogging for the rest of the month. I will try my best to get some more entries in, but I leave to go to Canada for three days tomorrow (I am BEYOND excited about seeing friends and family even for such a short time). Then I come back to Beaumont for about a week before going to Colorado for a week-long ski trip with my family. It’s going to be a busy break! Even the beginning of January will not feature a lot of cooking because I am getting my wisdom teeth out the day after I get back from Colorado. I apologize in advance for the lack of delicious Christmas recipes, but I promise that I will make up for it next year! I will do my best with the little time I have available for the rest of this month!

I found this recipe from a blog called “The Pioneer Woman” on Pinterest, and you should definitely check out that blog if you have never heard of it. She takes gorgeous photos, and her food always sounds AMAZING! I love all of the ingredients in this pasta. Lemon and basil are probably two of my favourite foods to cook with, and penne is always good. There were not very many measurements included in the recipe, so I had to improvise a little bit and just use my judgment. That is a little bit outside of my comfort zone since I usually follow recipes pretty strictly, so this was a good, simple recipe that still provided a bit of a challenge for myself. I made it twice in one week it was so good, so I hope that you will enjoy it too!
Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta
6 lemons (3 for the marinade, 3 for the sauce)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
A tiny bit of honey
A dash of salt
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A handful of chopped, fresh basil (or a couple of teaspoons dried basil)
Penne pasta (just use however much you need for the number of people you are serving)

Pound out the chicken breasts until they are about 1 inch thick (you don’t have to do this, but they will cook much faster). Combine the juice of 3 lemons, olive oil, Dijon, honey, and salt in a ziploc bag and marinate the chicken for 24 hours. Grill the chicken for about 5-7 minutes per side or until done (I used a grill pan).
Bring some water to a boil (enough for the amount of pasta you are using) and cook the penne for about 10 minutes until al dente. Drain the pasta, saving about 1 cup of the hot pasta water for later.

In the same pot you used to boil the pasta, melt 1/2 stick of butter over medium heat. Add the juice of the remaining 3 lemons and allow the mixture to heat up, whisking it together to combine. Pour in the cream and half-and-half and whisk together until heated. Add the cheese and continue whisking until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dump in the cooked pasta and mix together with the sauce. If the consistency seems a little thick, add pasta water until it reaches the consistency that you like. I did not have to use any the first time I made it but did need a couple of tablespoons the second time around. Cut the chicken into strips and add both the basil and the chicken to the pasta. Combine and serve hot. Garnish with extra chopped basil and lemon slices.

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