12 oz Chicken Thighs, 6 oz Whole Wheat Penne, 1 C Grape Tomatoes, ½ Bulb Fennel, 2 C Spring Lettuce, 1 Medium Plum, 2 Cloves Garlic, ½ C Mozzarella Pearls, 1 oz Shredded Romano, 1/3 C Basil Pesto, 1 C Chicken Stock, 1 oz Seasoned Rice Vinegar, 6 Sprigs Oregano, 2 Sprigs Basil, 2 TBSP Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, 8 C Water
Oven, Sauté Pan, Saucepan, Baking Pan, Bowls, Cutting Board, Colander, Chef’s Knife, Foil, Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Water
1. Cook pasta.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bring 8 C water and salt to boil. Add pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes, then drain in a colander and set aside.
2. Prep ingredients.
While pasta is cooking, rinse all produce. Halve grape tomatoes. Core and thinly slice fennel. Halve plum, remove pit, and cut into thin wedges. Peel and mince garlic. Strip oregano leaves and coarse chop. Stem basil and coarse chop.
3. Cook chicken.
Line a baking pan with foil. Pat chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, heat 1 ½ tsp olive oil, then add chicken, brown well on both sides, and transfer to baking pan. Top chicken with 3 TBSP basil pesto each and bake in a 400ºF oven for 15-20 minutes.
4. Finish pasta.
To the same sauté pan, add garlic and sauté on low until softened but not browned. Add ½ of the chicken stock, mix with grease and browned bits, and cook for 1-2 minutes to reduce stock and soften garlic. Add pasta, remaining pesto, tomatoes, oregano, and basil and mix well. Add mozzarella pearls to soften and toss. Add remaining chicken stock as needed to keep pasta mixture moist. Remove chicken from oven and add any chicken juices to pasta mixture.
5. Make salad.
In a bowl, toss spring lettuce, fennel, plums, seasoned rice vinegar, and 1 ½ TBSP olive oil.
6. Plate and serve.
Divide pasta between plates, sprinkle pasta with Romano, top pasta with chicken, and serve with salad on the side.
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