Juicy pan-seared chicken breasts in a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce makes this Coq au Riesling pasta simply drool-worthy.
It’s confession time. I don’t want to have to admit this but my family and I have eaten this pasta exactly 8 times in the last 20 days. EIGHT TIMES. And I’m not even a little sorry about it because friends, we’re onto a winner here.
I mean, let’s be honest, it’s not like juicy chicken, mushrooms, white, cream and garlic could EVER be bad together, right? Add al dente penne pasta and you have weeknight dinner perfection. This Coq au Riesling pasta has become a staple in our home and I’m pretty sure once you try it, you’ll love it too.
I’ve been making Nigel Slater’s Coq au Riesling recipe for years now and it’s on our menu every so often. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to make it again but realised that I only had boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I was a little bummed because I was really craving Coq au Riesling but it just doesn’t feel the same without that delicious crispy skin and the bone-in thighs add so much flavour to the sauce. I decided to make a pasta with the chicken instead.
The thing is, I am not the biggest fan of chicken pasta. Many times the chicken is overcooked because the sauce has to thicken/reduce and you end up with tough, leathery bits of meat everyone eats around. I wanted to overcome that while also injecting as much savoury-yum into the finished dish as possible.
I sliced the chicken horizontally into cutlets and then quickly pan-seared them in the hot pan I would cook the sauce in. I pulled them out when they were just cooked and allowed them to rest before slicing. This resulted in crazy juicy strips of chicken and also all that lovely burnt on bits at the bottom of the pan which just shout F-L-A-V-O-U-R!
In went the mushrooms, garlic, white wine (any good dry white wine will do) and cream. A sprinkle of parsley and a squeeze of lemon finished the sauce off perfectly. In went the sliced chicken and pasta and that magic ingredient: the pasta cooking water. The starches in the water amp up the creaminess of the sauce and is honestly a can’t-miss-step. Toss everything together and you’re done. Coq au Riesling pasta for dinner tonight? Again? You betcha!
- 4 skinless, de-boned chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250g (approximately 2 cups) portabellini/chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced (to taste)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup cream
- small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (To taste)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500g (1lb) cooked penne pasta (reserve 1 cup of cooking water)
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board.
- Place one hand flat on the chicken breast and carefully, with a sharp knife, slice the chicken in halve horizontally resulting in two, thin chicken cutlets.
- Heat a large frying pan and melt together the butter and olive oil.
- Place the chicken breasts in the pan and sear for a minute or two on both sides, seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the pan and allow to rest.
- Add a little more oil if necessary then add the mushrooms to the pan.
- Allow to brown before adding the garlic and cooking for another minute.
- Pour in the wine then allow to reduce for 2 minutes before pouring in the cream.
- Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes.
- Slice the chicken into strips then add to the sauce with the penne.
- Pour in a little of the pasta cooking water and toss to combine everything in the sauce. If necessary, add more of the pasta's cooking water.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.