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Friday 27 March 2015

Recipe: Succulent Chicken Breast Rigatoni (aka Teriyaki Mac n Cheese)

This recipe is really nothing more that a bit of chopping and mixing, simple and tasty. The key is succulent chicken and pasta a touch softer than al dente. You don’t want it to come out as if it came form a tin can, but make it too al dente and it all becomes to much effort to eat!!

Who likes sucking on a cross between a rubber bullet and a piece of chalk? Meh . . .  not so much! Who likes raw chicken? Nobody! 

So, the key to succulent chicken, is not to over cook it! 

Teriyaki Mac and Cheese is fast and simple comfort food, some soft cheese and some cured Mediterranean sausage and you’re ready for bliss!

ingredients (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts (cut into chicken tenders, and left to marinate)
400g rigatoni pasta (dry weight)

for the marinade
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp medium peri peri sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce

for the sauce
2 onions (diced and cooked translucent)
50ml EVO
50g italian salami (diced)
50g chorizo (diced)
200g soft cheese

for the spring onion vinaigrette (enough for 8)
250ml EVO
200ml cider vingar
1 tbsp sugar
4 spring onions (chopped into thin rings)

This dish is, as with most cooking (specially with pasta), all about timing! Definitely don’t want hard chewy chicken and soggy pasta. It’s about a smooth sauce with a little kick, succulent and tasty chicken, with morsels of Mediterranean cured meats, all mixed with a pasta that holds a little shape and plenty of sauce . . . . now we’re talking!!

Before starting put a kettle of water on to boil.

Pull the centre piece out of the breast, the kind of mini breast (the bit you make chicken tenders with), and cut the remaining breast into 3 slices the same size, put it all into a food bag or a take away box with the marinade, 30mins is fine, while you put the kids down or a have a glass of wine. Thinking about it the kids will love this recipe! When you feel the chicken is ready put the olive oil into a medium hot frying pan, and using tongs shake off the excess marinade and put it into the pan. Keep the excess marinade. Turn the chicken once to colour each side. The chicken pieces should be golden when you turn them and should be cooked on the outside. Put them on a plate to one side.

Add 2L of boiling water to a pot, add 1tbsp salt and bring the water to the boil. Add the pasta and boil for 9-10min, the pack I had said 12-14mins but if you put it in that long it would come out as mush at the end. Secondly it’ll be inedible if you keep it for lunch tomorrow. Whereas if it’s al dente, it will be fine for tomorrows lunch!! : )

Using the pan from the chicken, fry off the onions until translucent.
Then add the diced cured meat, and let it render a little fat into the pan. 
Add 2 tbsp of garlic onion reduction (alternatively 1/2 a crumbled chicken stock and a little garlic salt, and 200ml water). Then add the soft cheese and stir in until all the lumps have gone. Add a little water if it’s too thick. It should be the same consistency as cream. Turn the heat down until it’s bubbling lightly, then cut chicken tenders into 1/3’s with a pair of scissors add them to the sauce.
Leave for about 5 mins then turn off the heat and wiat for the pasta.

to serve
Once the pasta is ready drain it and add it to the sauce. Mix well. Serve immediately.
If it’s come out a little under seasoned you can grate some parmesan on it but it shouldn’t need it.

A touch of parsley for that retro garnish look? It’s up to you!!
Personally I went with a rather sharp vinaigrette and spring onion to balance the cheese sauce and compliment the spiciness.

1 comment:

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