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Monday, November 10, 2008

chicken and mushroom ragu

chicken mushroom spinach ragu

My bolognese sauce is my favorite accompaniment for pasta, but I don't always have 2 hours to let it simmer. For another protein-rich option, I tried this 20 minute option for chicken "ragu" from October's issue of Gourmet. Next time I won't pulse the mushrooms in a food processor - maybe chop them fine by hand to leave more texture - and possibly will add some olives and a pinch of red pepper for kick. This is a good base made with an inexpensive cut of chicken, so I'll make room in the rotation for this recipe.

grocery list: 6 oz cremini or baby bella mushrooms, 3 cloves garlic, olive oil, 1 1/4 lb sinless boneless chicken thighs, 1 small onion, 3/4 tsp fresh rosemary (chopped), 3 T balsamic vinegar, 1 28-oz can whole italian tomatoes, 1/2 dried pasta (pappardelle recommended in the original), 5 oz fresh arugula (I used spinach instead), plus grated parmesan.

mushrooms and garlic in food processor

Pulse mushrooms and garlic in a food processor till finely chopped.

chicken thigh pieces for mushroom ragu

Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a few T olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then saute the chicken (stirring frequently) for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

minced mushrooms and onions saute

Turn heat down to medium, then add the small chopped onion and cook till it starts to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushroom mixture, chopped rosemary, and more salt and pepper. Keep stirring until the mushrooms start to release their juice and turn brown - about 4-5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until it reduces down, another couple minutes.

adding spinach to chicken mushroom ragu

Return the chicken to the pan, and add the tomatoes (as well as the juice). Break the tomatoes down and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Cook pasta and drain. When the sauce is the right consistency, add the arugula or spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until it wilts. Stir in the pasta and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with grated parmesan.

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