Sunday, February 26, 2012

Got chicken?

   I'm sure most of us cook with chicken a lot (well, unless you are a vegetarian) because it's very popular, cheap, and cooks within few minutes. I usually buy a huge tray of chicken breasts, portion them into single servings, and freeze them so I have it available whenever I don't know what to make for dinner. I love to cook with chicken because it's a super easy ingredient, can be paired with anything you have in the pantry, and it always works (as long as you don't burn it or under-cook it of course). Since I started this blog I wanted to use it as an opportunity to experiment more with new ingredients which I never cooked with before. It's hard to believe (at least for me) but I never cooked with fresh fennel for example. What kind of food blogger am I right? So I decided to change it and I will show you my new creation (well, maybe a little bit inspired by Rachael Ray) of fennel and chicken pasta with toasted pine nuts. What you need is:

*  chicken breast (cooked and cubed)
*  1 large onion (sliced)
*  1 large fennel (sliced)
*  2 cloves garlic (chopped)
*  1 cup fat-free sour cream
*  1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
*  olive oil
*  salt and pepper
*  2-3 cups of whole wheat pasta

   With fennel you mostly use the bulb, but I also take the fronds off, chop them, freeze them, and use it as a garnish. To make the dish, saute thinly sliced onions, fennel, and garlic with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the veggies become translucent, add the cooked chicken and sour cream and cook everything for about 5 minutes. Mix everything with cooked pasta, sprinkle with some fennel fronds, toasted pine nuts, and you are done!

   I think I was a little bit afraid of fennel because it's supposed to have a licorice taste to it, so I wasn't sure if I would like it, but I had absolutely nothing to worry about. It tastes great, it's super crunchy, and gives a dish a new and exciting flavor. I think I found myself a new favorite ingredient to cook with! I already have a few more recipes I want to try out and of course I will keep you posted :).


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