Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chicken, Asparagus and Pecan Dish

I love asparagus!

I absolutely love asparagus! I love it steamed, grilled, or anything! So when I found this recipe on that combines both my chicken and asparagus, I knew I just had to try it, with a few changes.  And it lived up to its expectations!

I have never tried growing asparagus.  It seems complicated to me, and takes years before you can really begin to harvest.  That shouldn't stop a person from trying, though, and so I have decided this year that I will indeed try to grow asparagus.

To prepare your asparagus for cooking, take one of the stem ends and gently bend to see where it breaks. That's where you need to cut off the ends.  Line that spear up with the others, and cut all the ends off at the same place. Then cut into 1 inch pieces.

Chicken, Asparagus, and Pecan Casserole
1 (16 ounce) package penne (or your favorite shape) pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces (canned asparagus can be substituted out of season for fresh)
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (less if you are using dried)
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter
1 pound cooked & chopped chicken
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pecan halves (optional) (I like these chopped fine)
1.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes; drain.
Garlic, pepper sauteing in olive oil
2.Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and asparagus; cook and stir 5 minutes until the garlic softens and mellows. Pour in the chicken broth, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until the vegetables have softened, then add the basil, salt, pepper, butter, and chicken. Cook and stir a few minutes until the chicken is hot. Stir in the cooked pasta, then fold in the Parmesan cheese and pecans to serve.

Fantastic dish

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