Today, I am sharing a Basil & Lemon Chicken Pasta in a Light Cream Sauce that was inspired by a recent trip to California. I came home with dreams of year-around veggies growing in endless fields, citrus trees blowing in ocean breezes, and wine. Okay, I might have gotten a little carried away with the wine. I not only came home with 12 bottles of Castello di Amorosa finest red wines, but I scored a sweet membership and the personal number of one of their wine specialists. I mean he throw that line out and he reeled me in. (Shrug!)
I also scored me some fresh lemons. There is no down time for lemons in Cali. You can get them year-around fresh from the branches. Hello, perfect world! In my own personal, but limited growing, garden I still have herbs growing like weeds and the root vegetables are in full harvest. I am using these lemons and my late summer garden as inspiration for this dish. I’m baking chicken in a lemon, garlic, and basil broth and using the roasted broth to whip up a flavor intense cream sauce. I like to add some colorful root vegetables to kick up the color and add another layer of flavor. The result a light and colorful dish that is easy to make.
In a small bowl mix 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, and 5 fresh chopped lemon balm leaves.
Basil & Lemon Chicken:
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Using a paper towel pat dry 3 – 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts. Sprinkle with Cedar Oak Farms Lemon & Pepper Sea Salt. Spread the butter compound over the chicken, slather the breast fully.
Place in a baking pan. Add 1 cup chicken broth and 3-4 whole garlic cloves around the chicken. This will make a nice sauce base. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, basting the chicken with the sauce about halfway through cooking time.
Wash and peel 2 carrots and 2 beets, trimming the ends. Using a mandolin, slice the vegetables into thin slices. Cut 1/2 a lemon into slices. Start the water for the pasta. Add 1 gallon of water to a large pan. Add 1 tablespoon of coarse salt to the water and bring to a boil.
Add the carrots, beets, and lemon slices to a medium sauté pan. Sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of raw sugar (brown sugar can be substituted), and season with COFarms Lemon & Pepper Sea Salt. Sauté over medium heat about 5 – 6 minutes. Remove the lemon before serving.
👩🍳TIP: Do not use more than 1 – 2 teaspoons of sugar. You do not need much. You are not trying to sweeten the vegetables, but want to give them that nice glazed affect. If beets are not your thing, add other colorful vegetables. Adding purple carrots to the orange would make a great presentation without the beet bleeding into the dish.
Add 12 ounces of pappardelle (wide pasta) to the boiling water and stir occasionally with care. Cook, uncovered, until “al dente”, about 9 – 10 minutes. Less if using fresh. Once cooked to desired doneness, drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
Lemon Cream Sauce:
Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Pour the broth into a medium saucepan or place the baking pan directly on the stove. Mash the garlic into the broth and add 1 cup of heavy cream. Whisk over medium-high heat until the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce is being stubborn lightly sprinkle some flour into the mix and whisk vigorously to avoid lumps. Taste and season with more lemon and pepper sea salt if needed.
Add a serving of pasta to a pasta dish, spoon some vegetables over pasta, and top with a chicken breast. Drizzle the cream sauce over the dish and enjoy!
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 5 fresh lemon balm leaves, chopped
- 3-4 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
- 1 tablespoon lemon & pepper sea salt, divided
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves
- 2 carrots, peeled trimmed, and sliced
- 2 beets, peeled, trimmed, and sliced
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
- 1-2 teaspoons raw sugar
- 12 ounces pappardelle pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
In a small bowl mix the butter, basil, and balm leaves into a paste.
Pat dry the chicken breasts and slather thoroughly in the butter paste. Season with the flavored salt, to taste.
Place the breast in a baking pan and add the broth and garlic around the chicken. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes, basting the chicken with the broth a few times while baking.
In a medium sauté pan, add the carrots, beets, and lemon; sprinkle with sugar and season with flavored salt. Sauté over medium heat about 5 – 6 minutes. Remove the lemon.
Bring 1 gallon of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and stir occasionally with care. Cook, uncovered, until “al dente”, about 9 – 10 minutes. Less if using fresh. Once cooked to desired doneness, drain in a colander, but do not rinse.
Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Pour the broth into a medium saucepan. Mash the garlic into the broth and add the cream. Whisk over medium-high heat until the sauce begins to thicken. Taste and season with more flavored salt if needed. Serve immediately.