Packed With Flavour - Chilli Chicken Pasta

There is nothing I enjoy more these days than a delicious one pot dinner. All in one, no fuss, but guaranteed to pack a punch. With more days and nights spent at home, I've been watching various recipe videos on social media and gaining inspiration for many of my meals. This dish was borne out of a mish mash of watching a chicken recipe on ''Men with the Pot'' and using whatever ingredients I could find in my kitchen. Substituting ingredients is one of the fun things about cooking and why loosely following a recipe and adapting it to your own tastes can sometimes result in the best outcomes.


This recipe is a fantastic one to make for a family meal where everyone can help themselves and dig in. It has a bit of everything, meat, carbs, and veggies, so there is no need for any additional dishes of food. As the only cook in the house, this is such a wonderful option for those days you just cannot be arsed to spend hours in the kitchen.


In these photos I have used spaghetti, but you can easily substitute this with whatever pasta you have at home. This is the same with the chicken - here I've used chicken breast, but I have also made the dish with chicken thighs on other occasions. Again, use whatever you prefer. For the best results use a cast iron skillet, but most importantly this dish requires a pan with a lid.



Ingredients:

3 Chicken breasts (or 4 thighs)

1 Medium onion

3 Chilies (red and green)

Handful of shallots

5 Garlic cloves

1 Lemon

6 Tablespoons cider vinegar

4 Tablespoons honey

500 ml Chicken stock

2 Servings of pasta ( your choice)

1 cup spinach

1 Teaspoon garlic powder

1 Teaspoon onion powder

Paprika

Salt and Pepper

Dried or fresh parsley

Olive oil


Method:

  1. Prepare your chicken breast by butterflying it by splitting it in half along the side. Don't cut the whole way through, as you want to be able to open the two sides up like a book to have one big flat piece of chicken breast. Use a mallet/meat tenderiser and gently give it a few smacks. Season the chicken by sprinkling some salt and pepper and paprika on each side. Set the chicken aside.

  2. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, finely chop the shallots and put in a medium size bowl. Dice the chillies and add to the bowl. Add the cider vinegar, honey and juice of a lemon to the bowl. Measure out the garlic powder and onion powder and also add to the bowl. Mix this all together and taste. It should have a tart taste with a sweetness and a chilli kick. If you prefer spicier food, you can add extra chillies or add chilli flakes.

  3. Heat a heavy bottom skillet, preferably a cast iron skillet (with a lid!) over high heat. When skillet is getting hot, add a little over one tablespoon of olive oil and heat the oil. When oil is hot, add the chicken and sear both sides to get a nice browning effect. Make sure that you don't crowd the pan, if you don't have enough space for all three to sear at the same time do it one at a time. Crowding the pan (if the pieces of meat are too close together) creates a steaming effect and you won't be able to brown your meat effectively.

  4. Once the chicken is browned, keep it in the pan and add the garlic, onion, shallots, chilli, cider, honey and lemon mixture. Mix around a bit to cook. Add the 500ml of chicken stock to the pan. Make sure the stock is mixed in well with the other ingredients and the chicken is nicely coated. Cover the pan with the lid, and lower the heat to medium.

  5. Keep the chicken cooking for 15-20 to really let the flavours develop. Check the pan occasionally, stirring the ingredients and add some water if its reduced too quickly. Turn down the heat to low and replace the lid. While the chicken is cooking, boil water for the pasta and cook the pasta. Once cooked drain and set aside.

  6. By now the chicken should be nearly ready. Remove the lid. The liquid is the pan shouldn't be runny, but have a thicker consistency. Remove the chicken to a chopping board. Add the cooked pasta to the left over sauce. Mix well and add the cup of spinach. Keep tossing the pasta with the spinach until the spinach has wilted slightly. Remove the pan from the heat.

  7. Slice the chicken breast into chunky strips and place on top of the pasta. The dish is now ready to serve!