Winter Recipes NZ – Wild Mushroom, Chicken & Chorizo Pasta
I have always been a big time pasta fan and I have always been a little bit of this and a little bit of that flavour maker when it comes to cooking. Pasta seems to have a fair bit of leeway when it comes to mashing flavours together, but due to the more kind of bland make up of the starchy carb beast you really need something bold to make a statement in a pasta dish in my opinion.
This winter recipe has a few big bold flavours, but also has a few subtle flavours that can get buried when you get a little carried away, but get those subtle flavours correct and it really turns this dish into something you will want to cook over and over again.
This almost started out as your standard chicken and mushroom fettuccine, then as I rummaged around in the pantry I found some dried wild mushrooms and my mind ticked back to seeing something about soaking them in booze a few years ago. So creativity took over and this is the result, something to warm up another cold, bleak winters evening. I am not really one for measuring the ingredients out when I cook either, I am kind of ‘yep, that looks like it will taste about right’. So this is a guesstimate on quantities as I write this out, but yeah, pretty hard to go wrong really.
The aroma will have your neighbours beating the door down for a taste of your newly found pasta dish! The vermouth adds a interesting sweet quality and smell to this dish.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
400g pasta, I used fettuccine, but looking back on it now something like penne or small rigatoni would have been way better.
300g skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into chunks
200g mixed mushrooms, I used a bunch of dried wild mushroom and some button mushrooms
100g chorizo, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
juice of 1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
parmesan cheese to taste
Fill a big pot with water, bring to the boil, season with salt and cook the pasta until al dente, drain, but keep 150mls of the pasta water to one side, rinse with cold water and put pasta to one side.
Take the 150mls of pasta water and pour over the dried mushrooms in a bowl, add the 70mls of vermouth and allow the mushrooms to soften.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chorizo until fairly well cooked, remove the chorizo, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook over a medium heat until golden in the now chorizo fat filled pan.
Add the liquid from the soaking mushrooms to the chicken and cook until the liquid begins to reduce and slightly thicken.
In another pan fry the fresh mushrooms, garlic and some of the thyme plus some salt and pepper until well fragrant and golden. Add the now softened wild mushrooms to this pan and fry briefly.
Put the mushroom mixture with the chicken and put the chorizo back in to the main pan also, season with salt and pepper and add the pasta and mix until well combined. Squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon and grate over some parmesan.
Melt the butter in a pot then add the flour and mix until a paste, add the cream and stir until thickened, add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour 2/3s of the sauce over the pasta, mix well then pour the last 1/3 over the top, place in the oven at 200 degrees on bake for about 20min or so.
Dish into bowls and top with some more parmesan, some grated fresh nutmeg and a sprinkle of fresh thyme, serve with a mad crusty bread!