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Parmesan Shells with Chicken and Brussles Sprouts

Guys, today marks exactly one month until I depart for my NYC-London-Paris trip. Jeez that was fast. I’ve been shopping up a storm (thanks, Mint.com account for reminding me I’ve nearly tripled my spending in my clothing category..) and reading up on these fab cities in preparation for this trip. Over this past week, I’ve learned a few things:

  • It’s virtually impossible to find two different pairs of waterproof boots that are comfortable, the right fit, and not completely hideous
  • Trader Joe’s Spiced Cider can cure any bad shopping experience
  • I’m 90% sure I could survive on bread and cheese alone, and plan to do so in Paris. Well, and wine, as a fruit category.
  • One can never add too much cheese to a dish
  • I cannot estimate what 3/4 lb. of Brussels sprouts look like, but using half of the stalk typically works fine
  • If I’m forced to chop red onions, I turn into a hot mess. I cry, my eyes refuse to open, and my vision, once it’s restored, is blurry. Boo, red onions.

Okay, so maybe the last three were facts I learned when making the dish below. Grab a glass of your favorite vino, and start scrolling to see how you can make this tasty dish, too. 

Per usual, the recipe below is how I made it. The original recipe is found just beneath my version. But obvs, mine is better.20131113-110627.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (Mine were quite thick and about 1 3/4 pounds total)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 pound fresh Brussels sprouts (or a half-stalk’s worth. Who knows how much that weighs?), cut into quarters from top to stem end
  • 1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 pound medium pasta shells

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon each of the oil and the butter over moderate heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Cook the chicken breasts until browned and just done, 8 to 10 minutes per side (4-5 if thin pieces). Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut into small pieces.
  2. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, Brussels sprouts, chicken broth, and red-pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the Brussels sprouts are just done, about 8 minutes.
  3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken, lemon juice, Parmesan, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the Brussels sprout mixture. Remove from the heat.
  5. Once the pasta is done, drain and toss with the Brussels sprout and chicken mixture.

Serves 4-5.

The original recipe can be found on Food & Wine here.

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Oh, how I loathe thee.

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Hella thick chicken breasts.

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These tasty sprouts are my favorite!

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Toasty.

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Juuuuust right.

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Mmm.. magic happening.

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This will blow your mind.

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I tripled the “suggested” 1/3 cup Parmesan because I wanted the pasta to be incorporated into the veggies and chicken, rather than looking like a very sad last minute addition. There’s a kick of spice from the 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes and increased pepper, too. I could definitely see this being good with bacon or using broccoli as a substitution for the Brussels sprouts, if you have a picky eater. Try this recipe, and let me know what you think! Cheers!

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About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

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