MODEST MEALS: Chicken tenderloins on angel hair pasta!
Wow! That a treat for you all this week! Doesn't that look insane?
It's one of my FAVORITE dishes and it's so easy to make! How about we get started??
A block of your favorite Italian cheese
Angel hair pasta
Pinot grigio (chilled, and not for cooking haha optional if you don't drink)
White wine glasses in the freezer (optional)
Adobo and black pepper
Ceramic plates, heated in the oven 170 degrees (optional but heavenly)
First thing you wanna do is clean those tenderloins of fatty stuff etc., rinse gently and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them aside on a plate. Remember to rinse your chicken, please. Just gently in a stream of cool water. Season them on both sides but a bit of Adobo and black pepper, or your favorite seasoning.
Then, grate your preferred Italian cheese. Come on! Don't get that crap in a can to just sprinkle on your meal. You gotta spoil yourself! We always get a block of imported Italian Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese and I grate it, like my grandmother used to do. Hey, when you're raised with an Italian grandmother, you'll want to carry on her traditions in the kitchen when she's gone, am I right?
So, yeah, the cheese we like is kind of expensive, but we splurge sometimes, so you just get what you like, especially if you're on a budget, but make sure to at least freshly grate it because it's amazing like that on this meal. Set that aside, but don't let it set out for too long. Keep it cold.
Mmm ... just look at that cheese.
It's like freshly fallen snow.
Next, get a whole bulb of garlic. Get a fresh one. Peel it, cut off those brown ends and put the cloves into a little food processor. Chop it up finely until they're stuck to the sides of the container after the blades spin around. Spatula them out into small bowls, dividing the amount in half. Half for a little bowl and half for another little bowl.
Put one half of the garlic into a small pot with olive oil. Enough oil to completely submerge the chopped up garlic. Set the pot aside on the stove top. Set the oven to bake at 170. Put your ceramic plates in to heat them if you want.
Then, get your pasta water ready. Now, this is the tricky part, because everybody is different when it comes to pasta cooking times. I like my pasta DONE. I don't like it molto al dente, which means 'slightly undercooked.' The reason this is the tricky part of the meal is because timing is very important and the secret to a delicious meal is slow cooking the tenderloins.
For example, I like my angel hair pasta cooked for at least 7-10 minutes on a good boil, stirring frequently. That means, Kevin is cooking the tenderloins slowly in olive oil and the other half of the garlic, which you put into a frying pan to look like this ....
And let me tell you ... this smells so good.
You gently lay a tenderloin down, holding the thicker end of it with tongs. Then, turn it over so that some of the garlic is stuck to one side of it and let it rest
(Also, make sure at this time to heat up the garlic in the olive oil. Medium heat is good. Don't let it boil.)
Do the same laying down the other tenderloins until you've got it all looking like this. You turn them occasionally.
Make sure you cook them on medium heat slowly, letting them simmer in the garlic and olive oil. You must cook them slowly because otherwise, depending on the timing of the pasta, the chicken can get tough.
No one likes tough chicken. Bleh! lol Chewy!
A good example is, like I said ... if I cook my pasta for 10 minutes, then Kevin slow cooks the chicken for 5 minutes each side, give or take, turning them and checking that the pink goes away. They should turn a nice white with some browning and the garlic will darken, too.
Now, when the pasta is done, drain, but do not rinse. Some people rinse their pasta. Don't rinse it. After draining, put it back in the pot and pour in the garlic and olive oil evenly. Stir that up with the pasta gently to get it all mixed up. Then, check the temp of your chicken with a cooking thermometer. It should be cooked to 165+ degrees. Do not eat undercooked chicken. If it's not 165 degrees, just turn the tenderloins for a few more minutes and then check them.
Remove the plates from the oven with oven mitts and put the pasta on them. Then, put the tenderloins on top of the pasta and DONE! Careful with the hot plates and set on the dinner table. Serve with your favorite white wine in those glasses in the freezer and get your freshly grated cheese, sprinkle it on as needed.
There you go! Seems like a lot, but it's not. After a few times of cooking this meal, it's a breeze. The first time you cook it, the timing is everything, but just follow my outline and trust me, you'll love this. It's one of my favorite meals and I'm so glad to share it with you!
If you make it, I hope you love it!
Until next time! See ya soon!
Joseph and Kevin