- 2 medium chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound)sliced horizontally through the equator, pounded to an even thickness
- 4cups warm water(optional for brine)
- 1/4cup kosher salt(optional for brine)
- 2 1/2tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoesdivided
- 1/2tsp EACH garlic powder, onion powder, paprika
- 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
- 1lb. cellentani or pasta of choice
- 1tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallotchopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 4oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oilrinsed, chopped into strips (1 heaping cup)
- 4 garlic clovesminced
- 1/4teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1cup milk
- 1/2cup heavy cream
- 2teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, dried parsley
- 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
- 3/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2cups roughly chopped spinachoptional
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
CHICKEN BRINE (Optional for Juicier Chicken)
Combine warm water and kosher salt together in a glass dish. Stir until the salt dissolves. Add chicken and let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes while you prep the rest of your ingredients (30 minutes is preferable.) Begin boiling water for pasta the last 5-10 minutes of brining so you can start cooking pasta when you start cooking chicken. Remove chicken from the brine, rinse in cold water, pat dry and lay on a flat surface.
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in salted water. Remove 1 cup pasta water before draining. Toss pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Set aside.
Whisk together seasonings listed under “Chicken” in a medium bowl. Drizzle then rub tops of chicken evenly with 1/2 tablespoon sun dried tomato olive oil then rub with half of Chicken Seasonings. Flip chicken over and repeat using remaining Chicken Seasonings.
Heat 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato olive oil in very large skillet with sides over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes, or until nicely browned on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 3-5 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil, do not clean out pan. Wait until ready to serve to slice or chop chicken.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato olive oil over medium-low heat in the same skillet. Add sun-dried tomatoes and shallots and sauté 3-4 minutes, until shallots are tender, scraping up any brown bits left from chicken. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 1 minute (it will be thick).
Turn heat to low then slowly whisk in chicken broth, milk, and heavy cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in chicken bouillon and spices then increase heat to medium high to bring sauce to a simmer. Simmer until thickened, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted.
Stir in pasta until well coated followed by spinach. Add additional reserved pasta water a little at a time if needed to reach desired consistency. Add sliced or chopped chicken and stir into pasta. Garnish with additional Parmesan if desired.
Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and basil if desired.