Friday, April 11, 2014

Linguine with Crispy Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce

When Cassie first posted a photo of this Linguine with Crispy Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce on Facebook I was hooked. And then she posted the recipe on her blog and I knew I had to make it. It's got everything I love in one dish - pasta, crispy chicken, tomatoes and caramelized onions. Yum!!

I was able to prep some of the components during the day, which made it easier to throw together at the end of the day. Baby Girl is an excellent eater (and very polite - she always tells me she loves my cooking) but she doesn't usually proclaim anything as her favorite. After her first bite of this dish she told me she loved it and it was her favorite meal. After every bite she told me I had to make this again and again and again.


We all enjoyed this and it reheated well, which is pretty impressive for a cream-based pasta dish. Everything comes together so well. I particularly liked the apple juice in the onions - it added just a hint of sweetness. I was worried this would be heavy but it was actually pretty light. I can't wait to honor Baby Girl's request and make this again.

Linguine with Crispy Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Caramelized Onion Cream Sauce
As seen on Cassie Craves

8 ounces linguine, cooked according to package directions
Parmesan cheese

For the roasted tomatoes:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 egg, beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

For the sauce:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Cook for 20 minutes or until browned and bursting.

Meanwhile, add the beaten egg to a large bowl. Mix together the panko, Italian breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan (enough to shallow-fry the chicken). Dip the chicken pieces in the egg, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Fry in batches until golden and crispy; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until onions are fragrant and caramelized. Add the garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Raise heat to medium-high and stir in the apple juice, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to pick up any browned bits. Let the apple juice reduce slightly, then stir in the cream. Reduce heat back to medium-low and heat gently until thickened; taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Gently stir together the reserved tomatoes, crispy chicken, and pasta. Add the sauce and toss gently to combine. Serve with parmesan cheese.
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