Pantry Raid: Chicken Paprikash Pasta

One thing I’ve learned during this pandemic is the importance of a well stocked pantry.  I have always been a big advocate of meal planning and prepping but the options at the grocery store have been limited for the past several weeks.  I’ve had to throw my usual process out the window!   I’ve had to think on the fly quite a bit.  But thankfully I keep my pantry stocked with things like canned beans, canned tomatoes, lots of spices, vinegars, things like sundried tomatoes and artichokes, rice and pasta.  I always have butter, cream, and cheese in the fridge.  Because I keep things around I cook with often it hasn’t mattered so much if my grocery was out of chicken and I had to get pork chops this week.  Or ground turkey instead of beef.  It’s actually forced me to get creative and also pull out old favorite recipes I don’t make that often.  It’s been kind of fun!

This recipe came about when I had some things in the fridge that were on their last legs.  I had a couple chicken breasts left from a family pack.  There were a few stalks of kale and part of a package of mushrooms that needed to be used up.  I raided my pantry for sundried tomatoes, paprika and my favorite sherry vinegar and got to work!  Feel free to sub the sherry vinegar for balsamic, chicken broth/stock for the white wine, any other leafy greens for the kale, regular paprika for the smoked, all cream or all sour cream.  The key here is to use what you have and have fun!

*Check out my Pantry Staples and Pantry Raid Recipes pages for more great ideas!

Chicken Paprikash Pasta
Serves: 3-4
Prep time: under 45 minutes

Olive oil
2 large chicken breasts (about ¾ lb.), sliced thin
1 small red onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
8-ish oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
½ cup white wine
½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup sour cream
1 lb. penne pasta
Salt & pepper
To serve: shredded pecorino cheese, chopped parsley.

Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. Add pasta and cook for 8-9 minutes (I usually cook pasta 1-2 minutes less then the package directions since I’m finishing in the sauce). Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water, set aside.

While water is heating and pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, remove to a plate and set aside. Add a little more olive oil and add onions. Cook 1-2 minutes, letting onions get some color. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes more, stirring occasionally until mushrooms get browned around the edges. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Deglaze pan with white wine, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower heat to medium and add sundried tomatoes and next 3 ingredients (through sour cream) and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Add chicken back to pan and cook another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Add pasta to the pan and toss to coat, adding a little of the reserved pasta water if the sauce needs thinning. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve in big bowls topped with a sprinkle of pecorino cheese and chopped parsley.

Source: Ruth’s Table, 2020.

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