I have to say, this is one of those dinners that will leave everyone at the table asking for seconds! Both of my older boys devoured their first plate and asked for more before I finished my own plate! The key to a great chicken and pasta dish is seasoning your chicken correctly, and making sure to pound it thin. If you have ever tried to recreated a chicken dish from a restaurant and can’t figure out what makes theirs so much better it is probably that they pound their chicken, and use more salt! You see, boneless skinless chicken is virtually tasteless. When you have that hunk of middle meat, you have a portion of the chicken that isn’t sauced. I hate chewing through a fat piece of chicken and getting to the middle. It is like eating a piece of sautéed chicken with nothing on it…. yuck! Therefore, even if I use tenderloins like I did for this recipe, I STILL thin them out. That way I have a nice thin piece of chicken that will have lots of sauce, and no bland middle. It also cooks up more evenly, and you don’t have to cook as long on each side. All the way around, if there is one thing I can stress about the perfect chicken in a pasta dish it is pound your chicken! *If you have no clue what I’m talking about you take this piece of kitchen equipment and gently hammer your meat until it is thinner.
The other essential, seasoning your chicken correctly is easy. After you have pounded and cut your chicken pieces, start heating your sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on low and throw your chicken into a bowl. In a separate bowl throw in a little flour, salt (I suggest course kosher or Himalayan pink sea salt), pepper, and garlic powder. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour before you put it in your pan. This simple step will make a world of difference because it will help you get that nice, golden coating on each side. It also helps to keep your chicken from sticking to your pan (I never use non-stick because of the chemicals), and I always throw in an extra tablespoon or two of flour so that my sauce ends up thick and I don’t have to worry about thickening it up later. Even if there is extra flour just sitting in your pan, you will be happy later when you have a thick sauce! I would suggest looking for the roasted red peppers in the pasta isle of your grocery store. They will come in a glass jar either whole or in strips. Before purchasing check the ingredients. There should not be any soybean oil or additives in the peppers. I found mine in the Italian specialty section of my local store where they have all of the whole parmesan wedges, mozzarella balls, olives, and spreads.