This is a recipe my good friend and favorite Pampered Chef consultant, Brenda, made at the fundraising show we had at our church in August. It's really easy and really tasty.
Chicken Piccata Pasta
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
½ tbsp lemon pepper or Penzey's Trinidad seasoning
6 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
½ medium onion, chopped
12 oz. angel hair pasta
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained
¼ cup capers, drained and rinsed
Grated fresh parmesan cheese, optional
Combine chicken, 1 tbsp of the oil, and lemon pepper or Trinidad in a bowl; toss to coat. Heat remaining oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet; cook and stir 10 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink.
Meanwhile, heat broth in micowave or on stovetop until boiling. Add onion to skillet. Carefully add broth and pasta to skillet; cook uncovered 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add lemon zest, juice, and cream cheese to skillet; stir until cream cheese is fully incorporated. Add artichokes to skillet. Cook, covered, 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Remove skillet from heat; stir in capers. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
I only changed a few things about the original recipe. I didn't have lemon pepper seasoning because I don't really like pepper, but I did have Penzey's Trinidad seasoning, which is a lemon garlic seasoning. The recipe called for 1½ tbsp. But I only had ½ tbsp left in the jar. It actually turned out to be enough. Jim's quote when I asked him how he liked the dish: "The chicken was seasoned and cooked perfectly." Nice! So I guess it only needs ½ tbsp.
The other thing I changed was the result of a mistake. The original recipe called for removing the chicken after it was done, then cooking the pasta in the skillet, and then adding the chicken back in at the same time as the artichokes. I forgot to remove the chicken and didn't realize it until I already had the pasta and the broth in the skillet. Whoops! But it worked out just fine. The pasta took about 2 minutes longer to cook than the recipe said; maybe it was because the chicken was in there. Since it dirtied up one fewer dish, I think I will just keep the chicken in the skillet next time.
I put 2-3 oz. cream cheese because it originally called for 2 oz. but next time I am going to try it with 3. It's not because I think it needs more; it's because when I was grocery shopping, I didn't want to buy a whole 8 oz. package just for 2 oz. I saw that there was a tiny package that had 3 oz. in it. I got that and cut off 2 oz. for the recipe, leaving me with 1 oz. of cream cheese in my fridge that in all likelihood will not get used. So since the cream cheese is not prominent, I want to try adding the other 1 oz. just so there isn't any leftover.
This dish does not come across as cheesy at all. If you didn't know, you might not guess there was cream cheese in it. It just combines with the broth to make it a little bit more creamy. My favorite thing about this dish is how the pasta cooks right in the skillet. No need to boil it separately; dirtying up a big pot for that and a colander for draining the water. I love that! (And I hate dirty dishes. Can you tell?) This meal actually dirties up only two things, the skillet and whatever you heat the broth in. Nice!
Jim really liked it and my two year old loved it. She actually asked for seconds! She is diary intolerant, but there was so little cream cheese in here that I didn't think it would hurt her. And it didn't. She had two toddler-sized bowls of it and she was fine. She even ate the capers and artichokes.
Makes a pretty bowl.