A few notes.
- Sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta.
- Who cares if you had TJ’s frozen macaroni and cheese the night before?
- Even if it was the whole box.
- Sometimes, you are so excited to eat said pasta, you can’t be bothered to take decent pictures.
- Sometimes, a recipe that looks too good to be true in the recipe, actually ends up being that phenomenal.
Can you guess how my night went tonight? I’ve had this recipe lying around in my bookmarks for awhile. When clearing out my bookmarks last week I came across it, and have been thinking about it every day since. If you know me, you know this is not uncharacteristic.
I’ll be honest, the first thing that catches my attention about a recipe is the picture. No picture, no dice. The picture from this recipe literally made me feel like I was eating it just by staring at the page.
I had to try it.
It was so. So. So. Good. I have no words to explain. I just have to say one thing, to get it out of the way: I was too excited about this to take decent, step by step pictures. I apologize.
Rigatoni with Braised Chicken and Saffron Cream Sauce
(slightly modified from Bon Appetit)
- 1 pound rigatoni pasta (I wish I could have used paccheri as the recipe calls for, but I am a plebe)
- 3-4 medium sized chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless for the sake of ease, but the recipe calls for bone-in and skin-on…I’m sure this would be delicious)
- salt and pepper, for seasoning the chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion, finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 cups white wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons saffron threads, crushed
- about 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- juice of half a lemon
- 2/3 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade style (how pretentious of me)
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Start with the chicken thighs. Season them to your liking with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pan. Brown the chicken thighs in the pan, about 4 minutes each side, and transfer them to a plate.
Using the olive oil and juices from the chicken, saute the garlic and onion in the pot until they are tender, about 8 minutes.
Add the wine and saffron to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to boil until the wine is reduced by half. This should take about ten minutes.
Add two cups of the chicken broth to the pot along with the chicken. Return the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for about an hour, or until the chicken is fork tender.
Once the chicken is braised, remove it from the pan and reserve on a plate. When the chicken cools down, tear it into bite size pieces. Meanwhile, do two things: One, add the cream to the pot. Bring to a boil, and keep boiling for about 12 minutes or until the sauce is nice and thick. Two, cook your pasta (in a separate pot). Drain and reserve.
Add your chicken back to the pot and heat on medium until it is warm. Squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce and stir (feel free to add as much as you want to brighten up the sauce). Add the extra chicken broth if necessary to thin out the sauce. When the chicken is cooked, add the pasta to the pot.
Stir the pasta so it is coated and then remove the pot from heat. Add the basil and stir in.
Serve the pasta in bowls and top with the cheese.
Eat. Be complimented by your roommates. Repeat.