Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chicken Cavatappi with Lemon and Goat Cheese

Note to self, always make recipes titles by adding the Italian name for the pasta used... people will think the recipe is fancier... now, on to some fancy-sounding-pasta-that's-really-not-that-fancy. :)

I promise to post pictures (taken by the lovely Carrie, as my hands were otherwise occupied butterflying chickens and whatnot) of the cooking class soon. As I've mentioned before, please see Jenna's blog for the recipes and great photography of the final products. I'm going to avoid being redundant with that and just keep pointing you all to her great posts about our crazy/great night.

To add another drop into my personal blogging bucket (which is still woefully dry since grad school), I decided that I hadn't had enough of cooking this week and didn't have enough tests to study for and so I'd make up a dinner. Why not? How hard could it be?

Actually, when you see the ingredient list of said dinner, it would have been pretty difficult to screw up. Chicken + pasta + goat cheese + lemon + tomato + basil = pretty darn good. But still, I'm pretty proud of myself. This was rather delicious. I recommend it. Especially as it has some lovely acidic notes and some bright colors that tease you like our elusive spring, but is still comfort food to the max to go with the ever-present snow.

Also, if you have a ziploc bag full of lemon wedges that are leftover from a 20-person cooking class you just finished teaching, this is a good way to squeeze a bunch of them. Just an fyi.

Giant pot of goodness
Glamour shot
Double the pleasure, double the yum
No puns in this one, this is just plain good

Chicken Cavatappi with Lemon and Goat Cheese
Total Cooking Time: 45 minutes

2 chicken breasts, pounded to a uniform 1/4 inch thickness, and sliced lengthwise into long strips
1 c flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive Oil
1 lb cavatappi pasta (or any other small ridged pasta)
1 white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
28 oz can diced tomatoes, mostly drained
1 lemon, juiced
12 leaves basil, chiffonaded
1 T dried parsley
1/2 c half and half
4 oz goat cheese
Lemon wedges

1. Pat the chicken breast strips dry and liberally salt and pepper them
2. Dredge the chicken breast strips in the flour and shake off the excess
3. Heat about 2 T of olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan
4. Brown the chicken in batches and reserve on a covered plate, adding some more pepper and a little salt on the cooked strips
5. Heat a pot of salted water to boiling and cook the pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes
6. In the pan, wipe clean with a paper towel and then add another T of olive oil and heat over medium heat
7. Saute the onions and garlic slices until soft, stirring so the garlic doesn't burn
8. Add the drained tomatoes along with whatever juices are leftover
9. Add the basil, lemon juice, and parsley and stir to combine
10. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
11. Add the cream and the reserved chicken pieces and stir to coat
12. Drop the goat cheese in by adding crumbled pieces to the pot and stir till it all melts
13. Dump the drained pasta into the mixture and combine everything together
14. Serve with some basil chiffonade on top and with a few extra lemon wedges for people to squeeze over the top



  1. Mmmmm! This looks delish! Thanks Cassia :) I'm getting really bored lately with all my old 'standby' recipes. Excited to have something new to try!

  2. Thanks Kira! It's definitely worth eating!

  3. Oh Cassia! I have to try this. It looks so amazing. I'm seriously craving it and I haven't even tried it before, but my taste buds are on a full blown spree of imagination.

  4. Oh my word. Anything with goat cheese - really, anything - I'll eat and love forever. Question: Does it make a difference if I use a yellow onion (on hand) rather than white?

  5. Hey Carrie, no problem. Use the yellow one!

  6. I love goat cheese. cheesy cheesy goaty goaty, I just love it. This pasta looks delish! I'll be sure to use it's proper Italian name just to prove I'm fancy.