Monday, August 21, 2017

Joey's Chicken Aurora

  Have you ever heard of Aurora sauce? Basically, it's just a fancy name for a tomato cream sauce. Kind of like if Marinara and Alfredo had a baby, her name would be Aurora. (see what I did there?) You may have also heard of it as a "blush" sauce, but it's pretty much the same thing either way. I made this dish for a casual movie night not too long ago, and I must say it turned out exactly as I hoped it would. This is my go-to type of recipe whenever I'm having a few friends over and it's always a big hit. Bite-sized chicken pieces, dredged in a little flour to give some texture, served over pasta with a rich delicious sauce. Seriously, what's not to love?
 TBH, this recipe did not start as a chicken recipe. I was looking for a way to use some of my fresh herbs. I have window boxes filled with herbs all summer long, and they grow like CRAZY! So this was a good way to use some of them. Adding the chicken was sort of an afterthought!
 Now, I know the sauce is a little bit rich, but trust me, the fresh herbs really cut through it, and the tang from the tomatoes really rounds everything out. I'm not even kidding when I tell you that I couldn't stop eating it! I don't eat pasta very often, but when I do, I like to make it count. And this dish is ABSOLUTELY worth every bite, with its velvety cream sauce, the fresh herbs, the zesty tomatoes, and that tiny little game-changing splash of sherry. Definitely add this to your repertoire of quick meals. It's just as perfect for a quickie no fuss weeknight meal as it is for a movie night or an elegant dinner. You'll definitely get rave reviews! Promise

1 lb any shape cut pasta
3 boneless chicken breasts
seasoned flour for dredging
1 jar sun died tomatoes, in oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
a splash or three of dry sherry
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped
handful of grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

 Fill a large pot with water. Add a good handful of salt. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and give it a stir. Boil according to package directions to desired tenderness. Drain well.
Meanwhile, cut the chicken into small pieces. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour until coated. In a large shallow pan, saute the chicken in a little oil or butter, until lightly browned on the outside, and cooked almost but not quite all the way through. Do this in batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Remove chicken to a separate plate and set aside. While the chicken is cooking, drain the sun dried tomatoes and then julienne them into strips. After removing the last batch of chicken from the pan, add remaining ingredients. Stir well, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Now add the chicken back to the pan, and finish cooking in the sauce. Adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve over pasta.

You can easily serve this as a meatless dish. It absolutely stands on its own without the chicken.
For the seasoned flour, I like to just add salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but feel free to use anything you like.
When you're cooking the sauce, if it becomes too thick, just add a few more glugs of milk.
If you don't have sherry, you can add a little brandy, or vodka, or a little dry white wine. It's absolutely the key to the whole dish, so be sure to include it!
When you're adding the herbs, cheese, and sherry, add as much as you like!
If you'd like to add a little heat, add a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes.
Btw, this sauce is FABULOUS over any kind of ravioli. Just sayin!

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