Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Smoked Chicken Pasta

Truthfully, I did not stage this picture...I'm not that good. I just turned around and there it all was looks good.
When we have the big Branch Parties we fire up the big grill...a major undertaking. It takes four of those big bags of charcoal, that you get at Sam's, just to get going. More than one case of chickens and you're looking at eight to twelve bags of charcoal, plus the hickory wood that has to be cut. And split.
The point is...that meat comes off the grill and it's not smoked, it's SMOKED. It literally screams "I'm smoky! I'm smoky!" And every little tidbit that doesn't get eaten comes home, to show up later as the guest of honor in another dish of something.
Supper this night was the artisanal bread (I am telling you...this stuff ROCKS), mesclun salad from the garden and an apple torte. The pasta was the traditional fettucine recipe, with benefits.
Smoked Chicken Pasta
1 stick butter
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
Freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/2 to 2 cups shredded smoked chicken
1/3 cup basil, finely chiffonaded (?)
12 ounces pasta
Melt the butter, add the cream and let sit over low heat until warm. Add the cheese in four spaced-out batches, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. (I use a whisk.) Stir in freshly ground nutmeg, just to scent the sauce. Cook the pasta al dente. (I cook my pasta in a pasta pot, which has a liner. If you lift the cooked pasta out of the water and pour it into the cream sauce before it completely drains, the pasta water will keep the sauce from thickening too quickly. You could also just spoon pasta water into the sauce as needed.) Add the chicken and basil and fold to combine. Serve with freshly grated black pepper, and grated cheese for sprinkling.

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