Roasted Chicken with Pesto Gemelli Pasta and Roasted Asparagus

Topics: Recipes, Refuel

roasted chicken with asparagusPreparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes
Servings  4
Serving Size:

Ingredients:

8 ounces whole grain pesto gemelli pasta, such as Eden brand
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried herbs d’ Provence—the well-known herbs in a small round terra cotta bottle—or fines herbs
1 bunch (about 14 ounces) asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup low salt chicken broth
1/4 cup prepared reduced fat basil pesto, such as Contadina-Butoni brand
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional toppings: chopped fresh basil or parsley, grated Asiago cheese and toasted pine nuts

Directions:

Heat broiler. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cut chicken into 1 inch chunks; toss with oil and dried herbs and spread out on a nonstick jelly roll pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat source for 6 minutes. Add asparagus pieces to chicken mixture; stirring to coat lightly with oil. Continue broiling 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and asparagus is crisp-tender. Transfer cooked pasta to a colander to drain. Add broth, pesto, salt and pepper to pot; mix well. Add pasta and chicken mixture; toss well and transfer to shallow pasta bowls; top with basil, cheese and pine nuts, if desired.

Tips:

If you prefer, the chicken may be baked in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes and the asparagus added to cook for another 6 to 8 or until the chicken is cooked through. Don’t be put off by the oil in this dish…3/4 is monounsaturated and healthy for the heart. Tossing the chicken with the dried herbs and then offering a blast of hot dry heat is a nice way to maximize the flavor—just toasty enough to boost it, but not enough to burn it.

Substitutions:

Mediterranean or Greek leaf oregano may replace the herbs d’ Provence—the flavor will be sharper and a little more aggressive. Pasta that is not flavored can also be used, but I’d suggest cooking it al dente, and using a little more pesto, so the pasta can soak up the flavor.

Nutrition Facts:

Fat Calories: 112.00 g
Total Fat:  12.50 g
Sat. Fat:  2.60 g
Cholesterol:  98.80 mg
Total Carbohydrate:  18.70 g
Fiber:  1.80 g
Sugars:  1.60 g
Protein:  29.00 g