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Grilled Chicken over a Bed of Pasta


This delicious marinade is my basic chicken breast marinade. I use it for barbecues and for regular suppers as well. If you like different herbs than those I have listed, adapt the recipe for your family’s tastes. The flavors in the pasta complement the flavors in the chicken, creating a winning combination.


Make the Chicken and Pasta


Place all marinade ingredients, (even the empty lemon rinds) together with the chicken in a Ziploc bag. Place the bag in a bowl so it won’t leak and set aside for 15 minutes.


In the meantime, boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente, or about 12 minutes. Sauté garlic in the olive oil on a low flame until it’s soft (about four minutes),being careful not to burn it. Mix the oil, garlic, spices, and herbs with the pasta and set aside.


If you have a grill pan or a plug-in grill, use it to grill the chicken. Heat the grill pan and brush it with olive oil. When it’s hot, grill the chicken about 6 minutes per side, brushing the  second side with marinade before turning over, until it’s cooked through on both sides.

If you don’t have a grill pan, put the oven broiler on high setting. Place your chicken pieces on a broiler pan or a cookie sheet and brush with the marinade. Place the pan about six inches from the heat source and broil about 6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Baste with marinade before turning. Since the chicken breasts are cut into strips,  they will broil very quickly; keep checking  to make sure they don’t burn.


Pasta seems like such a simple item to prepare. If so, why do we sometimes end up with a lumpy, tasteless mess? Here’s how to make perfect pasta:


1. Make sure you have enough water in the pot. Pasta expands and it needs room to do that or it will clump together.

2. Salt the water: pasta doesn’t have much flavor. A generous amount of salt in the water seasons the pasta internally as it absorbs liquid and swells. The pasta dish may even require less salt overall. For a more complex, interesting flavor, add one to two tablespoons of sea salt to a large pot of rapidly boiling water.


3. Stir the pasta as soon as you put it in the water to break up the clumps, and again 2 minutes later.


4. There are conflicts of opinion as to both adding oil to the water and rinsing the pasta after draining. Oil helps the pasta not to stick together, but too much will make the sauce slide off the greasy surface. So, use just a little in if you feel you must.


5. Rinsing pasta is good for items like kugels and noodles for your soup. However, if you’re plan on putting an olive oil coating or sauce on it, rinsing is not a good idea. The clingy edges of the pasta will get rinsed away and you won’t get the full sauce flavor.


To Serve


Place pasta in a large serving platter or bowl with the strips of chicken arranged nicely above it.  



Garnish with additional parsley or basil, as desired. Sprinkling about a quarter cup of toasted bread crumbs on top of the pasta right before serving makes the dish explode with taste and texture!