As the spring semester begins, cooking with friends might be the closest some students get to cooking with their families.
In celebration of the beginning of the semester, a dear friend of mine taught me how to cook up a simple meal that reminded us of home-cooked food.
This week’s College gal cooking will feature lemon garlic pasta with chicken and vegetables made from scratch. This recipe might be easier to make with two or more people.
Garlic is not only a great herb used for flavoring various food, but it is also good for treating or preventing heart and blood system related issues, according to Medicine Plus.
1lb Spaghetti or desired pasta
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tbs minced garlic
6-to-10 tbs lemon juice
4 tsp or 1 cube Chicken Flavor Instant Bouillon
Diced chicken breast or pre-made grilled chicken
⅓ sweet pepper
Italian seasoning (optional)
For this recipe, fill a pot with water to boil the pasta. However, do not fill the pot to the top as it will overflow once the water begins to boil.
I used spaghetti for this recipe, but penne, elbow macaroni or other forms of pasta will work as well.
While the water is boiling, prepare the lemon garlic sauce for the pasta. Pour the olive oil into a saucepan and set the stove to medium or medium-high heat.
Then, add the minced garlic. If you can not get garlic, garlic powder may also work.
Once the garlic-infused olive oil turns golden, add a cube of the chicken flavor instant bouillon and six-to-ten tablespoons of lemon juice. Ten tablespoons is not only perfect for those who love lemon sauces, but it also gives the sauce a slight tang without being overpowering.
It is best to wear long sleeves for this, as the oil will begin to bubble once the lemon juice is added. To decrease the bubbling, lower the temperaure the stove to medium-low and make sure the ingredients for the sauce mix evenly.
Do not forget about to add the pasta to the boiling water as you are making the sauce. If the pasta begins cooking during the sauce preparation, both the pasta and the sauce will be ready around the same time.
If you purchase raw chicken breast, add salt and pepper or desired spices to quickly season the meat.
I seasoned the chicken with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, diced onions, parsley and cilantro two days before making this dish.
This, however, is not necessary as simple salt and pepper or premade grilled chicken—found in the frozen food section—will also suffice.
Add the chicken to the sauce and let is cook. Keep an eye on the sauce if using premade grilled chicken so that it does not overcook.
Once the chicken is partially cooked, you can add your desired vegetables. For al dente vegetables, wait until the chicken is mostly cooked to add them
Turn the heat down to medium-low for the sauce once the vegetables are added.
Mix the chicken and vegetables in the sauce and leave the sauce on low heat to allow the oil to reduce.
To check if the chicken is cooked, use a spoon to make an incision in the chicken. If it cuts easily, the chicken should be ready.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and add the pasta to the lemon garlic sauce with the chicken and vegetable and mix.
Decrease the heat to mix all of the ingredients. When all the ingredients are mixed evenly, the dish is ready to serve.