I got this recipe from one of my most favorite authors in the world, Diana Gabaldon. Her Outlander series is right up there with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Yes, that good. Anyway, she blogged that her father was a chef and that’s where she learned to cook. She doesn’t measure items so she guesstimated when posting this particular recipe. She also wrote the recipe in her ‘talking’ voice, not in a tradition recipe listing. She would digress in discussing the type of olives to use or how much pasta. It was hysterical but hard to follow when you’re in the kitchen making it the first time. I cleaned it up a bit and tweaked the measurements to suit our tastes. I’ve made this many, many times. Because it makes so much, this is a great meal to take to a pot-luck dinner or to have ready in the refrigerator when hosting a summer BBQ.
Or just to have a lot of and to munch on all week long.
On the kitchen floor when no one is at home but you.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a very large pan or electric fry pan. Heat and add 2/3 of the diced garlic, red onion, and green onions. Then add rosemary. While this is sautéing, trim the chicken breasts and then gash each breast deeply several times on both sides.
Add the chicken to the pan and pour a tablespoon or so of tequila over each breast. As the breasts cook, alternate additional applications of tequila with equal applications of margarita mix. As soon as one liquid evaporates, add the alternate one until the chicken is done. As the chicken browns, the liquid in the pan will cook slowly down into a thick blackish glaze; make sure the breasts are well coated on both sides with this. Cook until chicken is cooked through, the set aside onto a chopping board.
While the chicken is cooking, use another pan to sauté the remaining garlic/onion mixture in 2 tablespoons of butter. Break cleaned asparagus into small pieces and add to sauté. Add herbs. Add sliced mushrooms, stirring frequently. When the asparagus is tender and the mushrooms have absorbed all the butter (oh yes!), set aside.
Cook the pasta in a large quantity of boiling water. And here’s something that I’m quite the stickler about. When cooking pasta, the directions always, ALWAYS says to add salt to the water…optional. It is not optional in my book at all! It is mandatory. Pasta by itself if very bland. If you add salt to the water and by add salt to the water, I mean ADD 2 TABLSESPOONS of salt to the water.
No joke. It makes a world of difference. While it’s cooking, quarter the olives, halve the artichoke hearts and slice the remaining red onion into thin rings.
Mix the salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Once again, there were no measurements given in the original recipe so I follow (mostly) the lines on the bottle but without adding water. This is just vinegar and oil. I use about 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 cup oil. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Dice the chicken breasts.
In a very large bowl, combine olives, artichokes and onions, then the asparagus and mushrooms, then the diced ‘drunk’ chicken and finally the cooked and drained pasta. Pour ¾ of the salad dressing over it all and toss thoroughly.
Serve warm with fresh Romano or Parmesan cheese grated on top and additional dressing as desired.
4 large chicken breasts, trimmed of fat. One per person.
garlic, 5-6 cloves diced
1 medium red onion or 2-3 shallots
2 green onions, chopped
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 lb asparagus, cleaned, woody stalks cut off
white mushrooms, one package per four chicken breasts, cleaned
1 cup pitted olives, I prefer kalamata
rosemary, basil, marjoram, oregano Dice up 2 tablespoons of each and add to recipe when called for, tasting after the first tablespoon added. If you feel you need more, add it.
olive oil for sautéing and for dressing mixture
butter for sauteing
one package of Good Seasons Zesty Italian dressing mix
one box of farfalle pasta
Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
one very large bowl to mix it all together. And one one ring to bind them. (name that movie!)
If you have any questions regarding amounts or directions, please feel free to contact me here.