One Skillet Pasta Meal with Chicken and Greens in less than 30 minutes…

Wendy Schnitzer, the Fit Food Coach

Wendy Schnitzer, the Fit Food Coach

Saw this recipe on a wonderful site called The Splendid Table.  Her recipes are not always the most “healthy”, but they all seem to turn out very tasty and with a few adaptations you have a healthy meal as well…

Pasta with Chicken, Spring Greens and Nonna’s Crackling

A little olive oil, a hot pan, a handful of greens from the garden or market, chunks of inexpensive chicken and some chickpeas and chile, and you have a supper pasta in about ten minutes.

Serving Size  : 4
• 1-1/2 pounds chicken thighs with their
— bones and skin
• A little good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 medium red onion
• 1 Italian frying pepper, or sweet red bell pepper
• 2 fresh medium-hot chilies, stemmed
— and seeded (Italian hot frying peppers,
— cherry peppers, pepperoncini, or red jalapeño)
• 4 plump black olives (Sicilian
— or Kalamata), pitted
• 1 pound imported Italian linguine or spaghetti
• 6 quarts salted, boiling water
• 3 tablespoons good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3 big handfuls (1/2 pound, 4 tightly packed
— cups) tart salad greens, young dandelion,
— or curly endive leaves, coarsely
— chopped (organic if possible)
• 3 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup snipped chives, or thin sliced scallion tops
• 4 to 5 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano
— cheese, fresh grated, or shredded Asiago

1. Remove the chicken’s skin and trim the thigh meat away from the bones.
Cut the meat into 1/2-inch cubes and set aside. Lightly film a 12-inch
straight sided sauté pan with olive oil and set over medium heat. Spread the
chicken skin pieces in the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook,
turning once or twice, until crisp (about 4 minutes). Remove the chicken
crackling to a paper towel and set aside. Don’t wash the pan.

2. Chop together the onion, peppers, and olives into 1/2-inch to 1/4-inch
pieces. Cook the pasta in fiercely boiling water, stirring often until
tender yet firm to the bite. Remove 1/2 cup pasta water, draining pasta in a

3. While pasta boils, heat the 3 tablespoons oil in the sauté pan over
medium high heat. Add the chopped mixture, the cut up chicken pieces, and
the chickpeas, with generous sprinkles of salt and pepper. Stir several
times as you sauté everything 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken is firm,
and the onions are gold at their edges.

4. Stir in greens and garlic, cooking about 10 seconds, or until greens
barely soften. The greens will be wilted. Blend in pasta water, scraping up
glaze from the bottom of the pan. Cook 30 seconds. Immediately toss with
pasta and chives, tasting for seasoning. Turn into a warmed bowl, break the
chicken crackling over the pasta and serve. Pass the cheese separately.

Cooking Tip: Cook to Cook: Take care with chile. If it’s too hot, it will
overwhelm the dish. Use any medium hot chile. Red ones, like hot Italian
frying peppers or red jalapeños, give good color accent to the dish. Chop
and measure everything before beginning the recipe. Cook the pasta, reserve
a half-cup of its water, drain it, and immediately start the sauce.

Cooking Tip: Some reasonably priced and good quality imported pastas are
Barilla Plus, De Cecco, Geraldo e Nola, Molisana, and Delverde.

I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts to save the step of cutting it off the bone and since I did not plan on making the “crackling”. I skipped the cooking of the chicken skin – why add extra fat to the meal???

I put the onions, chilies and olives in the food processor to chop them up quickly. Sauteed them for about 2 minutes in a large skillet coated with oil with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to start them softening.  Added the chicken and spread it as evenly as possible over the surface of the skillet.  When browning chicken, let one side brown completely before you flip it.  Make sure you add more sea salt and pepper – this is called layering and it brings up the flavors even more when you add seasonings at different stages while you cook.

For the greens I used arugula and spinach instead of dandelion greens which are delicious but thought they maybe too unusual for my family.  I forgot to roughly chop them up and it turned out fine.

My family really like it..for the kids I gave them the pasta separately with butter and pulled out chunks of chicken and a few bites of greens.

Let me know if you try the recipe and what you think!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wendy Costello on October 12, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Looks to be another delicious recipe Wendy! I will be cooking this one tomorrow night!


  2. Posted by Glenn Coogan on October 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Now that will take this guy more than 30 min to prepare, but it looks delicious and I will !!!


    • Hey, thank you for checking out this site!!! I felt like I was only blogging to myself for awhile. Follow my tips on how to cut down the time and I think you will see it is pretty quick and it turns out delicious. Please let me know if you try it and what you think…


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