Cilantro Jalapeño Pasta With Blackened Chicken, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Cilantro Jalapeño Pasta With Blackened Chicken

Cuisine: Fusion
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
This cilantro jalapeño pasta with blackened chicken is a fusion and celebration of different cultures. One bite is a jam-packed explosion of flavors!

My grandmother taught me a traditional chicken pomodoro with parmesan dish that I love. This recipe I share with you, though, is my personal twist to add some Mexican flare to the dish. The combination of cilantro and jalapeño adds a nice mixture of flavors that spice things up!

If you’re looking for a lower-carb variation, I suggest you use whole-grain pasta or even serve this dish with quinoa! Add your favorite green salad and enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken
  • 1 to 1½ pounds chicken boneless breasts
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile ancho powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano crushed
  • olive oil
  • You Will Also Need
  • 12 ounces cooked pasta reserved
  • 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
  • 1/3 cup onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 poblano pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper sliced thin for garnish
  • lime sliced thin for garnish
  • For the Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce
  • 1 cup full cilantro previously washed
  • 2 jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • 1 large lime juiced
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine white (optional) (*)
  • teaspoons cornstarch
  • teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for cooking vegetables
  • salt to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions

For the Chicken
  1. In a small prep bowl combine the seasoning for the chicken. Season the chicken breast generously on all sides and set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Simultaneously, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet.In a small prep bowl combine the seasoning for the chicken. 
Season the chicken breast generously on all sides and set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Simultaneously, preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet.
  2. Once the oil is hot, sear the chicken breast for 5 minutes per side. Line a baking dish that has a cover with foil paper. Place the seared chicken breast in the baking dish, fold foil paper over to cover, and cover with lid. Place in the oven and cook for 20 to 23 minutes.
  3. While chicken is in the oven, cook your pasta according to the directions on package. Shave off 2 minutes from the cooking time, as it will continue to cook later in the recipe. Pull chicken after 20 to 23 minutes and let rest. The internal temperature should be at 165ºF. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Drizzle drained pasta with a little olive oil and set aside until ready to use.
For the Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce
  1. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt and set aside. In a deep skillet, preheat 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and poblano pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes. In the blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Taste for salt and set aside. In a deep skillet, preheat 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and poblano pepper. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. When ready, stir in the sauce from the blender, along with 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Reduce to a light simmer and cook sauce for 5 minutes.
  3. Fold in the pasta and cook for just 2 more minutes at a light simmer. Slice reserved chicken and fold into pasta before serving. Garnish with cilantro, lime slices and jalapeño slices. Serve with your favorite green salad.

Chef Notes

For the cilantro jalapeño sauce, you can use only one pepper if you desire less spice. If not using wine, add more broth to the cilantro jalapeño salsa.

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