Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce

I figured that since I've been on a cooking kick lately, I would share with you another of my favorite recipes.  

On a trip Jeremy and I took to Chicago, I had an amazing pasta dish in a mint cream sauce at a fantastic restaurant called MK.  I decided that I wanted to try to recreate this dish that I loved so much.  

I ended up finding a recipe that sounded similar online and I tried it out one night when we had some friends over for dinner.  Success!!!  It tastes almost exactly like the pasta that I remember.  The mint is definitely not overwhelming, so no need to worry about that and mixed with a little lemon zest...this makes it a great spring/summer pasta dish.  The recipe is actually very easy, so check it out!

Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce


  • 1 pound pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine (I've used Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint 
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 I generally like to cut everything up prior to starting the actual recipe, so I'm not rushing through trying to get everything done for the next step.  Chop the Mint, Thyme, Chicken, and zest the lemon before starting anything else.
2 Heat 4 quarts of salted* water in a large pot for the pasta. As the water heats, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, spreading them out initially and then not stirring them, so they have an opportunity to brown. Once lightly browned on one side, use a large spoon or tongs to flip the pieces over so they brown on the second side. When pieces are browned on both sides, and just cooked through, remove to a paper towel lined plate.
3 Deglaze the pan with white wine.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, but leave in the pan after scraping. Add the chicken stock and let liquids reduce by half (turn up the heat if necessary). Add the cream, mint, thyme, lemon zest, honey, salt, and vinegar. Reduce the sauce by half again.
4 Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook following directions on pasta package. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cream sauce when cream sauce has been reduced by half and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add chicken to the pasta and sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
* Use a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Some people wait until the water is boiling to add the salt. Makes little difference to me. Just make sure you get the salt in the pasta water or your pasta will be tasteless.
Serve immediately. Garnish with a little chopped fresh mint and thyme. Serves 4-6.

Adapted from a recipe at www.simplyrecipes.com.

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