Sesame chicken with pasta

You know what’s fun? When a new recipe turns out to be surprisingly easy and you get to eat dinner earlier than 9p that night. In my book, that’s a good evening!

It’s doubly fun if you have your doubts about how the surprisingly easy recipe will turn out, and you are even more pleasantly surprised when you start to eat. Yum!

This dish has a sort of Asian-fusion flavor to it. Actually, the original recipe called for tahini, but I couldn’t find that at Trader Joe’s so I just made do without. I also adapted a few other things to make sure the sauce was perfect. For the record, it was. But now that I’m thinking about it, I think you could give this a Thai flair by adding some peanut butter.

Anyway, all you’re really doing here is throwing some shredded chicken over pasta and bringing it all together with a pungent sauce. Don’t be afraid of the sauce–it has a lot of powerful ingredients (garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes), but when it’s dispersed over the chicken and pasta, it gets balanced out. I imagine the leftovers will work well as a cold pasta salad.

Sesame chicken pasta

Adapted from Food & Wine’s Quick From Scratch Chicken Cookbook

  • 8 oz whole wheat rotini (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1 c plus 3 tbsp chicken broth
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4-6 chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 4-6 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • freshly-ground pepper
  • lemon pepper
  1. Boil water and cook pasta. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Add 1c of broth and about a third of the green onions to a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Add chicken to broth and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and turn chicken over. Allow chicken to steam for 5 minutes more. Cut into the chicken to ensure there’s no pink remaining. If there is, continue to simmer until chicken is completely white. If you’re using full breasts (rather than cutlets) it will take longer.
  4. While chicken is cooking, add 3 tbsp broth, ginger, crushed garlic, sesame oil, honey, olive oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and about 8-10 grinds of pepper to a blender. Puree until well combined.
  5. Use two forks to shred chicken.
  6. To serve, start with a bed of pasta. Add a generous portion of chicken, and then sprinkle with green onions. Drizzle lightly with sauce. You should be able to get 3-4 servings.
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2 thoughts on “Sesame chicken with pasta

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