I made this at WestWard the week-end before last and I had wanted to write about it earlier, but today is the day. The Romanesco is nearing its finish of season and was still looking great at Frank’s so that is what got the whole ball rolling. A big white onion was added too plus a lemon.
Walking around the Market getting inspired about making a meal is one of my very favorite things. One thing leads to another. 2 big skinless boneless chicken breasts from Don & Joe’s that were just looking plump & luscious. Next. DeLaurentis was were I went to look for butter noodles but then the box of pappardelle looked great. Picked up a big piece of Parm there. The meal was shaping up. It would be a one plate Sunday supper. My favorite. Here is how it rolled.
Turn on oven to 400 and let it get hot while you start to work. This is when I pour myself a glass of wine. I find cooking immensely relaxing. The wine helps set that mood. We had these big pots of rosemary on the steps down to the beach that did amazingly well over the Winter. I clipped a few big sprigs. Lay the whole rosemary stems on the bottom of a baking dish. Lay chicken breasts on top of those. Salt & pepper liberally. Cut up your lemon in small pieces and scatter around the chicken. Liberally dose the whole lot with extra virgin olive oil. The olive oil, lemon juices and rosemary are going to flavor the heck out of the chicken and also create a bit of a sauce you are going to add to the pasta once all is done for extra flavor. Put the chicken in the oven and bake away until the internal temp of the chicken is 160 to 165. Around 45 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. I could not live without a stick-in thermometer. I find it impossible to eyeball the doneness of meat. The thermometer takes all the guessing out of it. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and cover the entire dish with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
While the chicken was in the oven, I did more than just drink wine. Insert smiling face. Cut up the Romanesco into bite sized pieces as well as the onion. Scatter both on a baking sheet and sprinkle with EVOO and S&P. This pan can go into the same oven while the chicken is cooking. Check often, moving things around while you check to insure even cooking and browning. Most likely done in 30 minutes, so it will be finished before the chicken. Which is fine. Take out and set on the counter. These don’t have to be hot when you serve the pasta.
In those 10 minutes the chicken is resting cook the pasta. Check package instructions. Save a bit of the pasta water. Drain pasta. While that was cooking away, add half a stick of butter (this serves 4) to a really large handled pot on the stovetop. You want the butter to cook down and brown. Stay with this. It can go South quite quickly. Once the butter has developed a nice golden brown, turn off the heat and take off that burner. Almost there.
Take chicken breasts and slice. Set aside. To the big pan with brown butter add the pasta, a bit of the juices from the chicken pan, and a really big handful of freshly grated Parmesan. Toss all together. If you want it saucier, add a bit of the pasta water so it is to your liking. Then add the Romanesco and onions along with the chicken and toss again. Plate all. Put another bit of Parm on top. Done. It was a bit of work, but it is really good and so worth it. Enjoy. Enjoy.