It’s been a year and a half since I’ve shared a recipe – mainly because I haven’t spent much time getting creative in the kitchen! I certainly am no recipe developer or food stylist; I’m not great at sticking to instructions-I’m more of a wing it/experiment kind of cook. However, my Dad was visiting recently and I made this for him and he demanded I actually write it out.
This was inspired by Alex/Defined Dish’s “pan-roasted chicken with cherry tomatoes, feta, and herbs.” I love her recipe, but over time I adapted it a bit. Especially when my Dad came to visit…I embolden the “Italian elements” for him. If you don’t like garlic or cheese, this probably isn’t for you. 😉
For the chicken
About 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup cassava flour (all-purpose flour also works)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp tallow (you can also cook with all EVOO)
½ onion, diced
2 pints of cherry tomatoes, halved
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp Calabrian chopped peppers*
⅛ tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp white wine
¾ cup of broth (I use turkey, chicken is good too)
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)
*These are jarred peppers and not vital. They are very savory and add nice heat! If you don’t want to purchase, simply add more red pepper flakes or skip if you don’t want the spice.
1 package spaghetti ~12 oz (I always use Jovial gluten-free spaghetti, the best)
For the sauce
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp EVOO
7 cloves of garlic, sliced (you want these thin, but not too thin or they will burn quickly)
½ cup of reserved pasta water
1 Tbsp white wine
¼ cup of broth (I used turkey, but chicken works too)
½ lemon, freshly squeezed
1 Tbsp ricotta
Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place your palm flat against the chicken and cut the chicken in half lengthwise to form cutlets. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, place the cassava flour. Dredge chicken in the flour one by one, and shake off any excess.
Heat EVOO and tallow in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (if not cast iron, just make sure it’s oven-safe). When the oil is hot/shimmering, cook chicken for ~4 minutes on both sides until golden brown. The chicken doesn’t need to be completely cooked through since you will cook it in the oven as well. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, cook chicken in batches. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and give the pan a few minutes to cool. Add ~1 more Tbsp of EVOO if needed. Add the onions and sauté them for about 1 min. Add tomatoes, garlic, Calabrian peppers, and seasoning- stir and cook for about 4 minutes, until tomatoes have softened/blistered slightly. Add wine, lemon, and broth. Turn the heat up slightly (to medium) and simmer for about 2 minutes.
Add the chicken back to the skillet, nestling them into the tomatoes. Crumble the feta into small pieces over the top. Then place small dollops of ricotta over the top as well. Add as much as you’d like- I used about 5 dollops, each about one tsp.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook (uncovered) for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you’re preparing the spaghetti and sauce.
While the chicken is cooking in the oven, make the spaghetti. Make sure to salt the water liberally just before adding pasta. Cook the spaghetti al dente. Very important: make sure to reserve 1-2 ladles of pasta water before straining!
Heat one Tbsp butter and EVOO in a large pan over medium heat (use a pan big enough to add pasta into at the end). Add garlic and lightly fry, careful not to burn! The garlic will be golden brown when it’s done.
Add wine, butter, lemon, pasta water, and ricotta. Grate parmesan into the pan…just eye it and add however much you want. (The sauce will be very thin, but that’s ok!) Add spaghetti back to the saucepan and toss to coat evenly. If you have extra sauce in the pan that’s just fine…the spaghetti will soak it up. Taste and add salt as needed.
When all components are ready, serve the spaghetti with the chicken and tomatoes spooned over. Feel free to top with extra grated parmesan and/or freshly squeezed lemon. Enjoy!