As I was laying out the ingredients I just wasn't getting that "I'm so excited to make this my taste buds are in overdrive" feeling. I had thought about just calling it a night and having Mr. Sideline Chef run to Taco Bell and pick me up a fresco bean burrito with guacamole. After eating this I really wish I would have gone with that idea.
Rachael Ray had put in a side note on this recipe about how this is her take on a dish prepared at an opera cafe in New York City, Caffe Taci. If I was deciding on whether or not to visit their cafe off of her take on their dish I would most definitely have to pass.
Mr. Sideline Chef and I agree that this dish was like eating the hot peppers straight out of the jar because none of the flavors from the chicken or garlic sauteed mushrooms came through. What a disappointment. The highlight of the meal was the salad that Mr. Sideline Chef wouldn't eat because the dressing didn't sound like something he wouldn't like, because it wasn't ranch dressing, and then dipping my bread in the dressing that settled to the bottom of my salad bowl.
If you think you'd have better success or an inventive way to recreate this by all means knock yourself out!
Bel Aria Chicken and Pasta
Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners
Makes 4 servings
Stars of the Show: These stars must be on the "D List" with Kathy Griffin.
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into large bite-sized pieces
- black pepper
- 1/2 pound cremini (baby portobello) mushroom caps, thinly sliced, or 4 portobello caps, gills scraped out, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 Italian hot red cherry peppers, drained and chopped, plus a splash of the pickling juices from the jar - They did not have these in our local market so I just substituted it with Tabasco hot peppers.
- 1/2 cup dry white wine - I used sauvignon blanc.
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to pass at the table
- handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- crusty Italian bread
And Action: I should have stopped before I began.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it and add the rigatoni. Heads up... you'll need two ladles full of the cooking water to be added to the sauce just before the pasta is drained.
While the pasta is boiling, heat a big, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 1/2 tbsp of butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the chicken to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and brown for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. It will finish cooking through when added back to the sauce later. (My chicken cooked completely through after the 6 minutes.)
Return the pan to the heat and add another tbsp of olive oil, the remaining butter, then the mushrooms and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Salt and pepper the mushrooms after they brown. (If you salt them when they are first added to the skillet, the salt will draw out the liquids and slow the browning process.) Add the hot peppers and a splash of the pickling liquid to the pan. Add the white wine and scrape up the pan drippings with a wooden spoon. Cook the wine down for a minute, then place the chicken back into the pan and cook for a couple more minutes.
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