30 November 2017

Chicken and Mushroom Penne Pasta

Chicken and Mushroom Penne Pasta / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chicken and Mushroom Penne Pasta is one of those dishes that’s special enough for company and easy enough for a weeknight family dinner. You can put all sorts of things into one of these dishes, but I like to really savor a few simple ingredients instead of throwing the kitchen sink at it.

I made the batch pictured here with the smaller measure of sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms, but I like it even better with the double amounts. If you use the larger amounts, do throw in an extra splash of brandy.

So many creamy pasta recipes call for huge amounts of butter, cream and cheese – but you can get delicious results with far less. In fact, my recipe is made without any butter and cream at all and just a small amount of cheese.

Sometimes I prefer just enough sauce to coat each bite of chicken and mushroom and each piece of pasta, as shown here. Other times I like to have more sauce, so I splash in the cream. It's very flexible.

I think the dish is best with a ridged (rigate) tube pasta. Penne was my favorite until I met mini penne a few years ago. But either will do. Of course, it’s delightful with a red meat sauce, but I do love a creamy chicken pasta.


Chicken and Mushroom Penne Pasta / www.delightfulrepast.com


Chicken and Mushroom Penne Pasta


(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small (4 ounces/113 grams) yellow onion, finely sliced
1/4 to 1/2 firmly packed cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely sliced and microwaved for 15 seconds with 1 or 2 tablespoons water
1/2 to 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 pounds (24 ounces/680 grams) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) milk
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour shaken with 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, more to sprinkle over plated pasta
3/4 pound (12 ounces/340 grams) mini penne pasta
Reserved pasta water

1 In 5-quart pan, bring 3 quarts of water with 1/2 tablespoon of salt to a full boil. While it’s heating up, make sauce. You will add the pasta to the boiling water about the same time you start cooking the chicken. But if the water is not up to a rapid boil by then, the sauce can sit quite happily.

2 In 12-inch straight-sided* skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and saute the onion while you slice and hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes and slice the mushrooms.

* If your 12-inch skillet is not straight-sided, you’ll need to cook the chicken in two batches. So if you have a straight-sided one, use it.

3 Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for about a minute until the liquid evaporates, then add another tablespoon of oil, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook over high enough heat to make the mushrooms sizzle, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are done, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove vegetables to a bowl.

4 Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet and cook the chicken, seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and cooked through. Deglaze the pan by stirring in the brandy and scraping up any browned bits. Add the milk and the slurry of flour and water, cooking and stirring until thickened. Stir in the basil, thyme, red pepper and Parmesan.

5 Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water in case your sauce needs thinning. Stir the drained pasta into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning. 

56 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

As much as I love creamy pasta, I can't handle too much cheese and cream well. This one looks creamy without way too much fat and cream...perfect!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Angie. So many times when I order a dish like this in a restaurant, it's just drowning in fat. I love, butter, cream and cheese, but it can definitely be overdone!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Here in Siberia West this time of year I get an otherwise dormant craving for noodles/spaghetti/pasta/by any name, and even some bread thrown in. It’s as if my holy white bod designates starch carbos as the way to prep for winter. Your comprehensive recipe, Brandy inclusive, may fill the bill. However, I’ve indulged this annual craving solely with “shhhpaghett” so far with meat sauce, added mushrooms of any variety, and sometimes a burgundy barbecue sauce. The meatballs are rather like small Rand McNally globes with finely diced onions and garlic powder sprinkled in. Raspberry streusel liberally buttered clears the palate. Also the pallet after second servings…

Pam Richardson said...

Jean, the pairing of pasta and mushrooms is perfection! I am saving your recipe...we do love pasta at our house!

Creations By Cindy said...

Oh my goodness! I love this recipe. Just pinned it too! Thanks Jean. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sully, for that palate/pallet thing! Yep, give this a try for your next starch craving. Makes a nice change from the red. I was just getting ready to satisfy my starch craving with a slice of homemade sourdough bread, toasted, with butter and raspberry jam.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Pam. I hope your family will like it as much as we do. The well-cooked onion is in just the right amount to supply those caramelized notes without overpowering the mushrooms. I like the mushrooms to be the star of anything I put them in!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cindy, thank you. AND for the Pin - social media shares are always much appreciated!

Marilyn Miller said...

Yummm! That sounds delicious! Thanks for visiting me. The quote on tea, which you are printing, really was a special one for sure. I am going to read it to my tea group the next time we gather too.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn! And your tea group is going to love that quote!

Sippity Sup said...

This is a beautiful photo of a delicious dish. GREG

xinex said...

Yum! I miss anything with mushroom cause we eat with my daughter and her family, who live next door, everyday. My son in law is alergic to it....Christine

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Mmmmm I love mushrooms in dishes, Jean, and this one sounds so tasty with all the herbs and sun dried tomatoes. This is a must try. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Greg! Means a lot coming from a guy who makes such pretty food himself!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Christine, that is sad! Maybe you should make yourself your own little batch for a solo midnight snack!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thank you. Let me know how you like it!

Louca por porcelana said...

It looks wonderful!Hugs!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Maristella! And hugs to you, my dear!

Jeanie said...

I think I might have most of the ingredients for this! It may go to the top of the dining queue!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, that's super! Do let me know how it turns out for you.

Margie said...

Thanks for sharing another tasty recipe, Jean! I've always preferred creamy pasta over pasta with tomato sauce.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Margie! I've always liked both, but lately I've been wanting the "white" pastas more often than the "red."

Cranberry Morning said...

Well that sure looks yummy! I rarely eat pasta, and when I do it's always Tinkyada, but now and then it's a delicious treat. This sounds especially good! What do you do with the leftover brandy? ;-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy! I like Tinkyada GF pastas, too. The leftover brandy? ;-) I put it in lots of stuff. I don't really like to drink it, except in eggnog, but I use it a lot in cooking.

Pauline Wiles said...

Jean, I would so love to be sitting down to this meal tonight! Like you, I don't see the need for large amounts of cream. But I've never met a meal with too many mushrooms in it ;)
Thank you for this vicarious dose of comfort.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaw, Pauline, wish I could teleport a plate right over to you! But a "vicarious dose of comfort" can be very nice!

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean, this is my kind of chicken dish. I'm printing this one for sure. My grandson will love it as well as my husband and I. ♥

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

Oh, it does look like an extra special dish!! I love the mushrooms in it. Mushrooms give so much flavor to any meal. The ridged tube pasta really holds the sauce, that's why a lot of times I prefer the short pasta to the strands. Strands can be dangerous as they whip around and slap you on the face. :-) I've pinned the recipe. Have a great weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Martha. I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turned out.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marisa, AND for the Pin. Strands are definitely dangerous to my clothes - I'm much more likely to splash sauce on myself! But I rarely have it because Mr Delightful prefers short pasta.

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Pinning this - it looks so good! I can't have the pasta but I use zucchini noodles now in place of the pasta and am always looking for good sauces to serve over them.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lauren, thank you. Zucchini is a wonderful pasta substitute, or you could try this sauce on a cooked slice of eggplant or a bed of mashed potatoes (I love mashed potatoes!).

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

Wow, there's a lot of great ingredients n this one. Brandy and sun-dried tomatoes are just a couple that make this especially interesting. Pinning.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Leanne. I've always used a lot of brandy in cooking. And sun-dried tomatoes always make Mr Delightful happy!

Tony Grant said...

Brilliant stuff, Jean. Looks delicious. I like all sorts of pasta, especially tagliatelle and spaghetti. I like penne pasta too of course. Isn't it strange how different pastas create different eating sensations. I nearly said tastes, but it is almost that. The different textures, firmness or softness do change our eating exeperience considerably. It almost does affect the taste. I bet somebody has done research on the different sensory effects various pastas provide. Anyway, some news. I have baked this years Christmas cake. Its in the oven doing three hours at 150 degrees centigrade as we speak. It makes me feel quite festive. All the best, Tony

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Tony. Yes, I think dishes sometimes taste different with different pastas and, as you said, the different textures create different eating sensations. Your kitchen must be smelling wonderful right now! I bake my fruitcake at 135C, but that's just me.

Mrs Shoes said...

Perfect! I'll sub in the rabbit I've already started & this is what's for dinner tonight. Can hardly wait.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Wow! Mrs Shoes, is it one of those things that "tastes like chicken"? Let me know how it turns out!

Richard Sheppard said...

Looks and sounds wonderfully delicious! I'll have to print it out and keep it tucked in my folder where I keep all my "to do soon" recipes!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard! Do let me know how it turns out for you.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

This looks SOO good! I agree that ribbed pasta is better too. Your directions are always perfect, and make me want to eat some now! Have a lovely weekend!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marilyn, thank you so much. Especially about my directions - that's important to me!

ellen b said...

It looks just right and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'm glad you like it, Ellen!

Cocoa and Lavender said...

This looks absolutely delicious, Jean! We could probably eat pasta every night of the week and never get tired of it…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David! Pasta is something we never tire of either.

Barbara Windle said...

This looks so good. I a pinning it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Barbara. Pins are always appreciated!

Linda @ Life and Linda said...

Jean, what a delightful dish. We adore pasta. Thanks for sharing the recipe and also for sharing at Dishing it & Digging It. Thank you for the very sweet compliment. Setting a pretty table makes me feel so happy. I want my family and friends to feel special. xo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Linda. And for hosting DIDI. Such fun.

Miz Helen said...

We will love your Pasta dish, it looks delicious! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Come Back Soon
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Miz Helen. See you Thursday!

Balvinder Ubi said...

This looks insanely delicious. Chicken and mushroom are two of my favorite add ins for the pasta.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Balvinder! I just think *every*thing is better with mushrooms! :D

Clearissa Coward said...

This looks yummy! Thank you for sharing with The Blogging Grandmothers. I have shared on Social Media.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Clearissa! Social Media shares are always soooo appreciated.

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