Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lemon & Herb Seared Chicken with Porcini Cream Pappardelle

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Winston received a box of mushrooms to cook with from the Australian Mushroom Growers as part of the #MushroomMania2014 campaign

Some weeks... Going the extra mile for something definitely feels rewarding. I know it's dumb, but I've always raised my hands to be put in situations that tries, challenges or stretches me. Feeling even more motivated to want to overcome an obstacle in the face of adversity, then growing and learning from each passing experience. 

Then, there are weeks when no matter which way you turn, what method you try, you just feel like you're letting people down, including yourself. I think it's easy to feel complacent with what you do or are given with. Whether it's work, relationships, anything at all. To sit back, cruise along and just take the easy road. After all, there's no reason why it can't get you by anyway. It sure saves you a hell lot of worries.

Why feel so invested into something anyway? Why bother, why try? 

It's because I care. 

Over the weekend, my friends told me that people of my star sign are passionate, emotional and deep thinkers. Personally, I'm not one to believe in this sort of thing but thinking back, I can't say I disagree. I do analyse very often about what I'm doing and why. There's not a single thing in my life right now that I can think of that I'm doing because I have to. Truth is, I do them because I want to. A person with many interests. Many passions. I love it all. But, I'll be lying if I say that I don't often feel mentally or physically drained.

Then there are instances when you realise that being passionate has really helped someone or even achieved something exciting, which makes it all worth it again. It's such a constant cycle. Has its ups and downs. But would I have it any other way? Definitely not.

What I have learned in moments of trial or demanding pressures:
- Take a moment to stop. Reset your mind. There may be chaos all around you but the world's not going to stop if you took this moment to breathe
- A lot can change in just a short amount of time
- Give yourself credit. You've worked hard and probably done better than you think
- Count your blessings. Remember your roots. Being grateful definitely puts situations into perspective in the grander scheme of things


Back to the recipe. This was a creation I made on Sunday for a meal I shared with Dad on his last night before he flew back to Malaysia. It was good. I thought the flavours worked well too. 

The chicken was seared until it was crusty and crispy on the outside, but still remained incredibly juice on the inside. The zest of lemon looked so delicate on the plate, with its subtle but refreshing flavour to cut through the richness of the sauce. The sauce was generously reduced until the flavours had developed fully and thickened so that it coated the pasta perfectly. I can't stand watery or runny pasta sauces.

Overall, it was actually a really quick and tasty dish to make. Dad and I enjoyed it very much and I do hope you give it a go too. 

Lemon & Herb Seared Chicken with Porcini Cream Pappardelle

(an original recipe, serves 2)

Click here to print the recipe


250g pappardelle *
20g dried porcini mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic (diced)
2 tbsp butter
250g mushrooms of choice (sliced)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
300ml cream
Salt and pepper

* May be substituted with linguine or fettuccine 

For the chicken:
1 chicken breast
Salt and pepper
Dried mixed herbs
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

To garnish:
Flat leaf parsley (chopped)
2 lemons (to zest)



1. Place a pot of salted water on the boil. Cook pasta as per packet instructions and drain.

2. Rehydrate dried porcini mushrooms by placing it in a bowl with hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out liquid. Set aside.

3. Heat up a pan on the stove and add the olive oil and minced garlic. Fry until fragrant. 

4. Add in the porcini, butter and mushrooms and fry for about 5 minutes until cooked. Add in the salt and fry for another minute. 

5. Add in dry white wine and cream to the pan and simmer on the stove for 15 - 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cooked pasta.

6. Flatten the chicken breast with a meat mallet until about 1cm thick. Pat dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt, pepper and dried herbs. 

7. Heat up a separate pan and add the olive oil. Once hot, add in the chicken breast and sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until cooked and golden on both sides. Set aside and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting to 1cm slices.

8. To serve, place the pasta and sauce on a plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Place the sliced chicken breast on the pasta. Zest the lemon over the chicken.

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