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08.04.2015

2 ratings, avg : 5.00
20
4

A beautifully fragrant pasta dish with penne and chunks of chicken. The dreamy sauce is made with mastic liqueur, cream, fresh orange juice and a touch of tarragon to complete the palette of aromas.

It’s Easter this Sunday here in Greece, and everyone will be eating lamb. To be honest I’m not crazy about lamb. I don’t like the taste. Neither does the Mister. So, for my Greek readers, I thought I’d suggest a quick and easy alternative for those who either don’t like what’s on the menu, or might have “difficult” guests coming over (like us). Well, Easter has been and gone for most of you out there, but this dish is an all-year-rounder. So get your hands on some mastic liqueur and give it a try.

Mastic liqueur is made from Greek mastic, which is a resin from a special tree that only grows on the island of Chios in the Northeast Aegean. It has some very interesting health benefits and a lovely flavour. The liqueur is exported to many countries so hopefully you will be able to find it. It will be worth the search if you do.

Ingredients

400 gr penne pasta or pasta of preference

1 1/2 Tbs butter

500 gr chicken fillet (I used a whole breast) cut into small chunks

2 spring onions, chopped

2 medium sized courgettes (zucchini), cut into ribbons

120 ml mastic liqueur

150 ml orange juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 tsp tarragon, dried

200 ml heavy cream

orange zest to garnish (optional)

Step 1

Put the pasta on to boil. You want it al dente.

Step 2

Heat a large, deep frying pan (one that will fit the penne later) over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and when it sizzles add the chicken pieces. Cook until you can’t see any pink bits, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down and transfer the chicken to a plate.

Step 3

Add the remaining half tablespoon of butter to the pan, together with the spring onions and courgettes. Toss till they start to soften. Return the chicken to the pan, turn the heat back up to medium high and pour in the mastic liqueur. Let the alcohol evaporate for about a minute.

Step 4

Pour in the orange juice and add the salt, pepper and tarragon. Let the sauce thicken slightly for about 2-3 minutes and add the cream. Let it all bubble away for a couple more minutes.

Step 5

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the chicken and sauce, and toss well to coat. Serve immediately with orange zest and some extra pepper.

Note: the courgettes (zucchini) will become very soft this way, as they are cut finely. If you prefer they have some crunch, you can either slice them in thicker rounds or add them at the end, just before the cream (or even with the pasta, in which case they will be almost raw).

2 ratings, avg : 5.00

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