Rocco DiSpirito’s "Pappardelle" of Chicken With Winter Pesto

Yield: 4 servings
Calories: 176
Theme: Dinner
Rating:  This recipe has not been rated

Poaching very thin chicken strips can be a protein-packed alternative to traditional Italian pappardelle pasta. Swap out your carbs for this delicious and easy-to-make one-pot meal! 


Recipe from: The Negative Calorie Diet by Rocco DiSpirito. 



  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of paprika
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups finely chopped escarole
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced lengthwise into strips 1/8-inch thick
  • 1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated


1. Bring two quarts water to a simmer in a medium pot; you will be using this to poach the chicken strips. 


2. Lightly coat a medium skillet with olive oil cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden brown. Add the cinnamon, paprika, red pepper flakes, basil leaves, and onion. Cook until the onion has softened, about two minutes. Add the escarole and cook until it has wilted and softened, another two minutes. Add the stock, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, about five minutes. 


3. Add a pinch of salt to the now-simmering water. Turn off the heat and add the chicken and stir so that all the strips are separated. Cook just until the strips have turned white; they will be half-cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the strips to a plate to cool. 


4. Check the escarole mixture: You want to cook it until most of the stock has evaporated and it looks like thick soup or sauce, then turn off the heat. Stir in half the cheese and season with salt to taste. Add the chicken strips, toss them to coat with the mixture, and continue to cook until the chicken strips have cooked through, about 90 seconds. Spoon the mixture onto four plates, dividing it equally; top with the remaining cheese; and serve. 

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