It's a Keeper: Chicken Caesar Pasta

I have to admit I am struggling with this post today. I am newly recovered from the stomach flu, so chatting about food is a little challening! My husband and I were both hit by it, so Darcy got to run around in her pjs until 2pm, which I think she thought was a blast. On to this week's review!

Part of the reason I tried Rach's recipe for Chicken Caesar Pasta was simply the novelty factor. I mean, pasta that tastes like a chicken Caesar salad? What on earth would that be like? This could either be really bad or really good. Turns out that it is great. I also had to try this because Rach has the best "real" Caesar salad (with a raw egg in the dressing) recipe in the old school 30-Minute Meals, so I knew I could trust her recipe!

This is more like a pasta salad because it is served either cold or at room temperature. If you're a little tired of Winter comfort foods, this might be a nice break. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:

1 pound penne pasta [I used whole wheat, which made the dish a little more filling, I think.]
1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs [We don't do thighs in my house, so I used chicken tenders.]
Ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigano Reggiano
1/2 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped

Yields: 4 servings

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil to cook the pasta. Once at a boil, add some salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Right before draining, remove and reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain pasta thoroughly, return to the pot and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Season the chicken with salt and ground black pepper, and cook in the pan until golden brown and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.

While chicken is cooking, place the egg yolk, Dijon, Worcestershire, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor with some salt and pepper. Pulse the processor while drizzling in the canola oil. Add the sauce to the pan of cooked pasta along with the Parmigiano Reggiano and reserved cup of pasta water.

Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is coated in sauce, about a minute. Remove from the heat, toss with the lettuce and chopped chicken, and serve.

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