Lemony Basil Chicken with Penne Pasta takes a little planning ahead but is well worth the little extra work required to make such a great entree to share with family and friends. Although I use Penne Pasta in this recipe, you can use other pasta’s such as Gemelli or Rigatoni.
The “Extra Work” for best results is to marinade the chicken breasts in a batch of rosemary shallot marinade (recipe included after the main recipe) for at least 8 hours.
- 2 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package directions until al dente
- 4 each 6-oz. chicken breasts
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 whole organic lemons or 4 organic limes
- 4 basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin slices
- ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to a uniform ½ inch thickness.
- Add chicken to a plastic resealable freezer bag and top with a batch of rosemary shallot marinade. Turn bag repeatedly to coat chicken before placing in the refrigerator. Be sure to turn bag occassionally to ensure even distribution of marinade.
- Remove chicken from marinade and discard any remaining liquid.
- Drain well, then add the breasts to a large skillet with 2 T. olive oil.
- Cook chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink inside.
- Remove from heat and cut into thin slices.
- Add chicken slices to a bowl with the warm, cooked pasta and set aside.
- In a large skillet, saute garlic in remaining olive oil over medium heat.
- When garlic begins to brown, remove from heat and pour garlic and olive from pan over the chicken and pasta.
- Toss to coat pasta and chicken with the garlicy olive oil.
- Add the zest of one lemon to the bowl, then roll each lemon on the counter with the palm of your hand to release the juices.
- Cut each lemon into quarters and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the pasta bowl, being careful not to add the seeds.
- Add fresh sliced basil leaves and toss to combine all ingredients well.
- Top with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste
You might consider squeezing the lemon or lime into a small bowl before adding it to the pasta. That way you are sure to avoid any seeds in your finished dish.
And now for the Rosemary Shallot Marinade
This marinade combines the classic flavors of rosemary and lemon with the subtle flavor of fresh shallot. Prepare this recipe in advance for even better flavors. You’ll want to give this one at least 8 hours to work its magic.
The following recipe is enough for approximately 2 pounds of chicken
1 T. fresh rosemary, leaves crushed to release oils
1 T. fresh basil, cut into thin strips and crushed
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and then pour over chicken in a plastic freezer bag. Seal bag and turn to coat chicken. Place bag in a shallow glass casserole dish and put in the refrigerator. Marinade for up to 24 hours, turning several times to evenly distribute marinade.
Remove chicken from bag and allow excess marinade to drain. Discard all remaining marinade and prepare Lemony Basil Chicken with Penne Pasta per recipe directions.
While not a Mexican Recipe, we do eat a lot of meals down here that are not Mexican by design. However, we always serve a nice salsa on the side so those that wish, can add some to the Lemony Basil Chicken and make it a little “Mexican”.