Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grilled Chicken Penne Pasta

My Grilled Chicken Penne Pasta Dish

After a quick errand to Whole Foods Market yesterday night, the hub and I stocked up on items that would last us for the week. A few of these items were a pack of there freshest Chicken Breast, Whole Grain Penne Pasta and their 365 Everyday Brand of their Classic Spaghetti Sauce. For dinner today, I decided to prepare Grilled Chicken Penne Pasta as this was a special request that the hub wanted me to spruce up.

Before the whole process, I brined the four pieces of Chicken Breast in a plastic container by filling it with a solution of water, Kosher Salt and a teaspoon of Low Sodium Soy Sauce for about forty-five minutes in the fridge. For those of you that aren't quite familiar with the term Brine, the verb means to treat with or steep in brine. It's a strong solution of water and salt. A sweetener can also be added to the solution which I've done for flavor and to improve browning. Now, what the salt does is it dissolves protein in muscle, and the salt and protein reduce moisture loss during cooking. This also makes the meat juicer, more tender, and surely enhances its natural flavor. Now that I've given you a bit of Poultry 101, after the forty-five minutes were up, I drained the Chicken Breasts and patted them dry. After drying, I then seasoned them with salt and pepper and set aside for grilling. Check out my handy grill below.

Here are the items I gathered together for preparing this dish...

Ingredients (Prep Time = 20 minutes):

  • 1/2 Medium White Onion chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Can/Bottle of Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Basil (freshly chopped or seasoning)
  • 1 Tbs. Oregano (freshly chopped or seasoning)
  • 1 Tbs. Parsley (freshly chopped)
  • 2 Mushrooms chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Penne Pasta
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 2-4 Chicken Breasts grilled and sliced

Directions (Cook Time = 20 minutes):
  1. Saute Onions until translucent.
  2. Add Garlic and cook for one more minute.
  3. Add the Spaghetti Sauce, Basil, Oregano and Black Pepper.
  4. Once Sauce boils, reduce to simmer. (You have the option to add the slices of Grilled Chicken at this point or wait until after you're done, which in my case, I waited.)
  5. Simmer until Pasta is cooked.
  6. Cook Pasta in boiling, salted water.
  7. Strain Pasta and add to sauce. (In my case, I didn't add the pasta and just set aside separately from the sauce as I'm quite particular with the amount of sauce I like to put on my pasta.)
  8. Add Parsley and or Grated Parmesan as your toppings.
  9. Now your DONE!
I'd have to say, this dish came out pretty well! The chicken was juicy and tender and not to mention, cooked thoroughly. My hub is my biggest critic when it comes to cooking healthy meals and if he often gives me ideas and tips on how to enhance a meal, I take mental notes for the next time around. He was really impressed with this simple and flavorful dish and with that I was truly happy. I do my best to be a better cook and I believe each week I'm getting better at it. In the words of my inspiration and favorite chef Giada DeLaurentiis, "Buon Appetito!".



  1. Yummy indeed ;) Sure thing Maria! Thanks for stopping by! :D

  2. You're such a chef! Your food looks so healthy and yum! I love that you use soy sauce as a marinade. Can't live without it :) xx barbandjo

    1. Thanks Michelle! Can't live without my soy sauce! Hehe...Thank you for stopping by ;) XoXo


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