While perusing the latest bon appetit magazine (it's the restaurant issue) I stumbled upon exactly what I've been yearning for lately: a new, different pasta recipe. This isn't exactly an italian dish, although it has hints of being italian in it. It's so so SO very delicious as well, thus I would highly recommend it...but only if you have a good 2 hours to put towards making it. It's creamy, rich and with a huge depth of flavor given from the saffron cream and the white wine. It's spectacular if you want to prepare it for guests, or serve up a great meal for your man.
Rigatoni with Chicken in a Saffron Cream Sauce:
adapted from bon appetit.
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 lbs chicken thights with skin and bones
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped white onion (about 1 medium)
6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 cups dry white wine (I used a Chardonay)
1 tsp saffron threads, crushed
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 lb rigatoni
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1. sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden about 7 minutes, then flip and cook the other side about 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
2. Add the onions and garlic to drippings in the skillet, saute until slightly softened and transluscent; 7-8 minutes.
3. Add the wine and saffron to skillet and bring to a boil. Boil until liquid is thickened and reduced by less than half, about 8 minutes.
4. Add 2 cups chicken broth to the skillet, return the chicken, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let the chicken simmer gently until it becomes very tender, turning the chicken over after 3o minutes. This should take about an hour. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool.
5. Reserve the skillet with juices. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Tear the chicken into bite size pieces; place in a medium bowl and reserve.
6. Spoon off the fat from the juices in the skillet and discard. Add cream to juices and boil until the sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat a spoon with a thick layer, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and the reserved chicken pieces. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Boil the rigatoni in salted water, until al dente. Strain and put the pasta back in the boiling pot. Add the chicken and cream sauce to the pasta and stir until well combined. Mix in the fresh basil and reserve a little to sprinkle on top and serve!