Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chicken Breast and Zucchini Pappardelle FAIL!

It's dangerous this time of year to leave your car windows down... you're likely to end up with a backseat full of zucchini. I can't turn the stuff down fast enough so we are swimming in it and in desperate need of zucchini related recipes. I decided to try a recipe I saw in Gourmet for Chicken Breast and Zucchini Pappardelle. Uses zucchini? Check. Uses basil?!?!?! Double bonus. In the quick and easy section??? SCORE!

Somehow, I managed to overlook a slightly important detail- It's called Chicken BREAST and Zucchini Pappardelle not Chicken THIGH, stupid. Don't worry... the oversights don't end there.

For reference, here's the recipe:

Chicken Breast and Zucchini Papparedelle
Gourmet June 2009
Serves 4 ( I cut it in half in both quantity and quality!)

1 pound zucchini, trimmed
2 garlic cloves
4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin (1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 cup torn basil leaves
S & P

Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer

1. Shave zucchini lengthwise (1/8 inch thick) with slicer and put in a large bowl. Thinly slice garlic and reserve separately.

2. Pat chicken dry, then cut crosswise into thirds. Season all over with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Sauté chicken in batches, skin side down first, until browned and just cooked through, 8 to 14 minutes total. Add chicken to zucchini.

3.Add garlic to skillet and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add water and scrape up any brown bits, then drizzle over chicken. Add basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt to bowl and toss until zucchini wilts slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

See step number 2? That should have been broken down into smaller portions for me I guess because I thought I was supposed to add the zucchini to the chicken...in the skillet! Forget delicate wilting with light chicken breasts. I had a grease fest of savory chicken thighs with slippery squash ribbons. Flavor was top notch... seriously, the combo was delicious. The texture was so very wrong. It prompted Aubrey to say, "What's this called?" "It's called Chicken Breast and Zucchini Papparedelle, why?" " Now it's called Chicken Breast and Zucchini Pappardelle FAIL!"

So, lesson learned? Amending recipes is great! In fact, here are a couple tasty-sounding versions at Eat and Greet and Epicurious Reviews. So, feel free to play around in the kitchen. Just so long as your willing to accept an alternative dinner in the face of abject failure ( In my case, egg sandwiches.)

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