Creamy Chicken Rotini with Swiss Chard

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in Dinner, Food Journal

Creamy Chicken Rotini with Swiss Chard

Creamy Chicken Rotini with Swiss Chard – (Creamy Chicken Rotini with Swiss Chard recipe along with a video tutorial (coming soon)follows) –  So, I was walking through the produce section of the grocery store yesterday when I noticed the absolute most beautiful Organic Rainbow Swiss Chard. I had no real plans on making Swiss Chard for dinner, but man, it was soooo pretty I just couldn’t help myself. So I bought it. Then as I was driving home, I was thinking to myself, “wait a minute, I’m making Pizza tonight”. But that’s beside the point. Because once I remembered that I was making pizza for dinner, that gave me a whole day to decide what to do with the Swiss Chard. Then, my husband said that he wanted to have chicken for dinner (the next day). So, now I had two things to put in our dinner, chicken and Swiss Chard……..and tomatoes thanks to my wonderful little girl Tia, who had convinced me at the store to buy two pints of organic plum tomatoes. Which just kind of made everything else fall into place – at least for me. So, I got out my little note pad and jotted down all of the things that may be tasty in my pasta dish. The next day, (last night), I started cooking, glancing over at my list now and then to remind me of some of my ideas. I ended up adding a few extra things and of course omitting a few things too and this is what I came up with. My husband said that this is the best pasta dish he has ever tasted which is quite a complement coming from him. I was happy to tell him that not only did I write everything down, but I also videoed it – just in case something super wonderful happened so that I could share it with all of you. Oh, I guess I should tell you that I love to create in the kitchen (obviously), but I have a hang up about writing and measuring while I’m creating – Chefs, go figure. So anyway, here it is, enjoy and happy cooking everyone!

Noodles

13.5 ounce box whole wheat Rotini

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

In a Separate Pan

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, medium dice

4 cloves garlic, emince (sliced thin)

1/2 pound Apple-wood Smoked Bacon

1 1/2 pounds chicken

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes

2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 bunch Swiss chard (stalks and leaves separated)

*I used rainbow Swiss chard

1 1/3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half

6 ounces cream cheese (by weight)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

1 cup pine nuts

Options (you can use one,two or all three – I recommend adding at least one of the options)

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest, minced

a few leaves of basil for garnish


Instructions

1. To start your noodles, fill a large pot with water and add salt. I use an eight quart pot with seven quarts of water and about 1/4 cup of iodized salt. You want your water to taste like the ocean. This helps in the final taste of your dish. If you don’t properly salt your water, your noodles will have a “flat” taste. For more information on this, see my article “Table Salt, Strangely not Just for the Table“. Put the pot on high and bring the water to a rolling boil.

2. While your’re waiting for your water to boil, you can work on the rest of the dish. Make sure to check your noodle water from time to time. When it is at a rolling boil, add the noodles and cook them for 8 minutes. Drain them, then put them into an ice water bath to cool them and drain them again. After you drain them, put them back in the pot you cooked them in and toss them with a little bit of olive oil so they don’t stick to each other. Put them to the side.

3. In a large pan, add one Tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat on medium -high and add your onion. Sprinkle the onion with a little Kosher Salt and black pepper. Sweat your onion. That means you saute it until it starts to get a translucent look. Lower the heat to medium – low. Allow the onions to caramelize.

4. Emince your garlic – that means cut it into thin slices (peel it first of course). Set it to the side.

5. Rinse and then Slice your tomatoes in half long ways (see video for a time saving tip). Set them to the side.

6. Rinse your Swiss Chard and drain it. Chop off the very ends of the stalks if they are brown. Remove the leaves of the Swiss Chard by tearing them off. You can also cut them off, but this is not necessary. We are removing the leaves from the stalks because they do not cook at the same rate and if you put them in together, either the stalks would have to be under-done, or the leaves would have to be over-done, so, we will add them at seperate times. Set the leaves to the side.

7. Slice the thick parts of the stems into 1/4 – 1/2 inch slices. Set to the side.

8. Slice the leaves of the Swiss Chard. It is easiest to do this if you work with a few leaves at a time and roll them together before you slice them. Set the leaves to the side.

9. At this point, your onions should be good, go over and check on them and then remove them from the pan and set them to the side.

10. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the chicken to the pan (that you had your onions in). Sprinkle it with Kosher Salt and pepper. Stir your chicken. Allow the chicken to cook for two to three minutes.

11. When you chicken is about half way done, add the bacon to the pan. Stir.

12. Saute the chicken and bacon together until they are almost done. Add the chili flakes (red pepper flakes). Stir.

13. Deglaze with the red wine vinegar. That means you scrape any of the fond (the brown bits that are stuck to the bottom) off of the pan. I use a wooden spatula for this. Stir.

14. Add your chicken stock. Then, add your garlic. Stir.

15. Add the stems from your Swiss Chard. Allow them to cook for about one minute. Reduce the heat to medium – low.

16. Add your tomatoes. Then your cooked onions. Stir.

17. Add the cream cheese in chunks. Stir. You have to be a little patient with the cream cheese as it starts to melt, but it will, and then it will stir in easily.

18. Once you have the cream cheese melted in, sprinkle in the Parmesan Cheese and stir to combine.

19. Add the Swiss Chard about 1/2 at a time along with a sprinkle of Kosher Salt and pepper and stir in between each addition. It will look like you have way too much but don’t worry because it cooks down.

20. After your Swiss Chard is stirred in, turn off the heat and add the pine nuts. Stir.

21. Add your cooked and drained noodles. Fold them in to combine and serve hot.

Please enjoy this “how to” video!

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