Tender strips of chicken breast are seasoned and sautéed, then tossed with pasta, vegetables and a light cream sauce for an easy one dish complete meal.
I’m working a mix of remote and on-site work schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but actually have this week off. I decided to stay home and repaint my bedroom this week, which is to say I’m still working pretty hard! I needed a meal tonight that I could prep in advance so that I could paint all afternoon. This dish came together from that need – I prepped the zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper and onion in advance and reserved in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.
The chicken was also ready to go, since when I buy a package of thin cut chicken cutlets, I separate them out into individual Ziplock sandwich bags and freeze. I took out one cutlet last night and let it defrost in the fridge overnight. The rest was just a manner of sautéing what was needed, cooking the pasta and making the pan sauce.
This is one of those recipes where the different components are made separately and then get heated through in the sauce at the end. I find this to be a very stress free way of cooking when busy…if the veg is done before the pasta, or the pasta finishes cooking before the chicken, it doesn’t really matter. Just cook each component and reserve it on the side when it is done.
Chicken with squash and red bell peppers is healthy by modern standards, with the ratio of vegetables high in comparison to the protein and pasta.
Olive oil, butter
Half a small red bell pepper, cored and sliced
Half a zucchini, sliced into half moons
Half a yellow squash, sliced into half moons
Half cup sliced white onion
1/4 tsp dried thyme, divided use
Salt, black pepper
3/4 cup rotini pasta
1 thin sliced chicken breast
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock, low-sodium
1 Tbsp heavy cream
In a large skillet add several drizzles of olive oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add the red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and onion. Season with a dash of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the 1/8 tsp of thyme. Cook, stirring now and then, over medium low heat about 20 minutes, until softened. Reserve in a bowl.
While vegetables cook, bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a boil and add the rotini pasta. Cook 10-12 minutes, until pasta is tender, then drain and reserve.
Add a pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil to a small non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat. Season chicken breast with a dash of salt, a few grinds of black pepper, 1/8 tsp garlic powder and pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook in the skillet about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through. Reserve chicken breast on a plate and when it has cooled a bit, slice against the grain into half inch strips.
In the same large skillet where you cooked the vegetables, add 1 Tbsp butter and the 1 Tbsp flour. Whisk to combine and cook a few minutes over medium heat. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream, whisking until smooth. Season with 1/8 tsp salt, several grinds of black pepper, and 1/8 tsp thyme. Cook, whisking occasionally, about 5 minutes until thickened.
Stir chicken into sauce and turn to coat. Stir in the reserved vegetables and heat through, along with cooked pasta. Serve.