02 April 2009

Grilled Chicken Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction

The inspiration for this dish was a combination of two things. First, I had a dish similar to this a TGI Friday's. It was so good and so simple that I couldn't forget it. I remember the balsamic reduction that was to die for but it was not nearly enough. Yesterday at lunch, my aunt had some killer lemon spinach which in turn made me crazy for spinach (MY spinach because I know I can make it better). My uncle had pecan crusted chicken that was incredibly tender. After discussion, we decided it was because the chicken was so thin. SO I decided to combine the two and the result was awesome! My aunt and uncle raved about it. I'd highly recommend it and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm going to write my directions to show you how to multi-task so hopefully it all is ready at the same time! So read everything first, then cook. ;)

chicken breasts, butterflied
salt-free lemon pepper

capellini pasta
diced tomatoes
a good quality hard cheese, grated

1 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T. brown sugar

Preheat grill (or George Foreman in my case). To butterfly chicken, trim of all fat and skin. Carefully place on palm on top of chicken, using the other hand slice through the middle of breast. Spray George Foreman grill with Pam. Season both sides of chicken breast with lemon pepper seasoning, sprinkle top with oregano. Cook for about five minutes or until temperature is 165 (carry over cooking will take it to 170).

While grill is heating (before you butterfly the chicken), pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Let simmer while everything cooks.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta.

Around the time you add the pasta, taste the balsamic reduction. If it needs a little bit of sweetness, add brown sugar to taste. Return to simmer while pasta cooks. The reduction should have reduced by about half and it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

To serve, place pasta on place, cut chicken into bite size pieces and layer on top of pasta. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Add diced tomatoes and cheese. Serve with crusty bread.

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