Jon’s (and mine too) Chicken Pasta

I concocted this recipe years before I met my husband.  He loved it and started to make it himself and eventually called it “his” recipe.  Over time he did make his own contributions to make it even better. As usual, between the two of us, we made additions, changes and overall improvements.  This is actually the basic of pasta in oil only has scads of extra flavors added. We both love it and often make it together while bumping into each other.  It’s a bob and weave project.  Serves 6-8 of your closest friends. If they are big eaters, either make more or feed fewer.  This makes a terrific leftover.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 – 4 Boneless chicken breast pounded (approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 3 slices red onions – diced – approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1 pound bacon, prosciutto or turkey bacon cooked and cut into bite size
  • 6 – 8 fresh garlic minced
  • 10 – 12 kalamata olives quartered
  • Feta cheese crumbled
  • Olive oil and Pam
  • 1 pound farfalle or campanelle pasta (actually any pasta will work)
  • 1-2 teaspoons kalamata olive juice
  • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large skillet, spray Pam to cover or 2 tablespoons of oil
  • Cube the chicken to about bite size
  • Heat sillet to a medium heat
  • Add cubed chicken to heated skillet (sometimes we spice the chicken)
  • While chicken is cooking, cook bacon and cut into bite size pieces
  • Cook the chicken to almost done (no ink exteriors)
  • Remove chicken and set aside
  • At this point you can also start (on high) a large pot of water
  • Lower skillet to low medium heat and add onions and garlic (do not overcook either)
  • Once onions have a translucent look, add chicken back into the skillet & heat at low
  • Add slight amount of olive oil
  • While the chicken, garlic and onions are slowly heating, add pasta to the full boil pot of water
  • Cook pasta to a “firm” texture and once done IMMEDIATELY strain and run cold water tossing pasta in the colander to cool it – don’t want it to keep “cooking”
  • Add pasta to skillet but not all of it (you can always add more) with chicken, garlic, onion
  • Stir pasta into skillet and mix thoroughly with garlic, onion and chicken
  • Add olive oil to cover everything, but nothing should be swimming in oil
  • Add bite size bacon and as usual add until you believe there is enough
  • Turn heat up and constantly stir and toss.  You are now heating everything together – DON’T let it burn or stick to pan. You can always add a bit more oil.
  • Once skillet mixture is hot, dish out in pasta bowls, sprinkle olives and feta
  • YUM, YUM, YUM!

ANY WAY YOU WANT IT TIPS:

This was the toughest to describe even as truly easy as it is.  There are so many things you can do ahead of time – cook and cut bacon, slice onions, mince garlic, cut kalamatas, and crumble feta…. It just has a few steps to balance. It is so worth the end result.  Onion type can be switched out, eliminate bacon(s), omit kalamata olives and/or juice. Top with any shredded cheese. Works well with burrata topping.  Don’t forget a glass of your favorite red wine!

 

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