Grilled Chicken Breast with Noodles in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

This is a variation on a great old Italian classic: noodles, mushrooms and a cream sauce. It’s a great way of turning a simple chicken breast into a wonderful dish, and is best served with a mixed or green salad. The marinated chicken breasts can be cooked on an open barbecue and served with a salad, and the cream sauce can be used with other dishes, even just with noodles on their own. If you don’t have time to make your own fettucine, you can use shop-bought fresh or dried.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 450 g (1 lb) Fettucine
  • A little olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

For the Marinade

  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

For the Cream Sauce

  • 4 chicken wings (optional)
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small leek, coarsely chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) dry white wine
  • 900 ml ( pints) Chicken Stock
  • 600 ml (1 pint) double cream

For the Garnish

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 6 smoked back bacon rashers, rinded and chopped
  • 225 g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter

Method

Mix together all the marinade ingredients, season with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken breasts. The breasts are best left in the marinade for 48 hours to allow them to take on the tastes.

Pre-heat the grill to medium.

To make the cream sauce, cook the chicken wings and chopped vegetables in the butter with the garlic and herbs until softened. Add the white wine and boil to reduce until almost dry. Add the chicken stock and boil to reduce by two-thirds. Add the cream, slowly bring to the simmer then simmer the sauce gently for about 30 minutes. Push the sauce through a sieve, check for seasoning and keep to one side in a large pan.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and grill them until cooked through and tender, or pan-fry them in a little butter and olive oil.

The pasta can be made as for the sea bass recipe, or finer spaghetti noodles can be made or bought for this. It just needs to be boiled in salted water with a little oil until tender.

For the garnish, cook the sliced onions, bacon and mushrooms in the butter until they are soft.

To serve, place the pasta and garnish into the sauce, bring to the simmer and allow it to warm through for 2 minutes. Divide the pasta and garnish between four large bowls and spoon some of the sauce over each one. The grilled or pan-fried chicken can now be carved into two pieces, cutting at an angle through the middle. Slightly divide the chicken and sit it on top of the noodles. Pour 8–10 tablespoons of the marinade through a sieve into a bowl and add the chopped parsley. Spoon a little over each chicken breast just before serving.

The preparation is as important as the cooking.

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