GINNA PARSONS: Easy, delicious dinner on table in half an hour

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I mentioned in last week’s column that while my husband was on his annual golf trip, I had tried to prepare some of my children’s favorite dishes to help ease angst at the supper table.
But of course, I also had to try a couple of new recipes or they would think they were in the wrong house.
I stuck with basic ingredients I know they like: chicken, lemons, pasta. And while they’ll eat cooked onions, I’m not sure I’ve ever made anything with leeks before, with the possible exception of Julia Child’s leek and potato soup.
I like this recipe because it came together fairly quickly. I started the water for the pasta while I pounded the chicken and sliced the leeks, and then boiled the pasta while I cooked the chicken. Start to finish, I had the meal on the table in about 30 minutes. (I finished it out with a steamer bag of broccoli I zapped in the microwave.)
The children and I ate every bite of this – there should have been leftovers, but weren’t – and I can’t wait to make it again, this time for Charlie.

Chicken with Lemon-Leek Linguine
8 ounces uncooked linguine
2 (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, divided
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 leeks, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced (11⁄2 cups)
1⁄2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Reserve 1⁄4 cup of pasta water and then drain pasta; keep pasta warm.
Meanwhile, place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Cut each breast into 2 pieces. Sprinkle chicken with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour, shaking to remove excess.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, leek, and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth and juice; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add pasta to leek mixture; toss well to combine. Add a little reserved pasta water, if desired, to loosen mixture. Serve chicken over pasta mixture; sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.