29.2: Parmesan-crusted Chicken with Lemon Spinach Angel Hair
It’s been way too cold here lately.
It’s been below 0 degrees a few times this week.
It’s been in the single digits for much of the day the last few days.
I’ve decided that it’s much warmer when you don’t know how cold it actually is.
Once I know it’s -4 degrees, I’m automatically freezing my behind off, regardless of how I felt before finding out that it was -4 degrees.
When it’s -4 degrees, I want pasta.
When it’s 74 degrees, I want pasta. Maybe my wanting pasta has less to do with the fact that I want pasta when it’s cold than it does with the fact that I love pasta a little bit too much. Whatever. I’m fine with it.
Regardless, when it’s cold, I do not want a sandwich. I made sandwiches tonight. They were terrible.
All I can do is dream of this pasta as I go to bed chilly and with an unsatisfied stomach….
That – and of warmer weather.
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/4 inch thick
1 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 lb. angel hair pasta
the juice of 1 lemon
1 sliced lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup capers, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
4 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. unsalted butter
½ lb. baby spinach, washed and sliced thinly
Bring a large pot of water to bowl. Once boiling, generously salt water, then add in angel hair. Boil until cooked, but with a slight bite , 3-4 minutes. Before draining pasta, ladle out one full scoop of pasta water – set aside. Drain pasta.
Place flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Use a third shallow bowl for the parmesan. With one chicken breast at a time, coat chicken with the flour, then coat with egg, then coat with parmesan – dripping/shaking off the excess each time. Press cheese to stick, then transfer chicken to a clean plate.
Heat 2 tbs. olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Allow oil to heat, then add the chicken and cook. You’ll probably have to work in batches here so the chicken can lay in a single layer in the pan. Once the chicken is golden brown, flip with a spatula, then repeat on the other side. The time here will take 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken. Repeat until all chicken is deeply golden and cooked through. Transfer cooked chicken to a clean plate.
While chicken cooks, heat 2 tbs. of oil and 2 tbs. of butter in a medium saucepan. Once hot, add in the garlic, capers, and the sliced lemons. Cook for 3 minutes, then add in the spinach. Cook for another minute, then stir in the lemon juice. Add the reserved cup of pasta water. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat, then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve chicken alongside pasta, and sprinkle individual servings with extra parmesan cheese.