Pasta with Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
March 12, 2019
This is a recipe adapted from Eugenia Bone’s Pasta with Chicken Confit and Brussels Sprouts. Unlike her recipe which calls for preparing chicken confit well in advance, I’m using the pressure cooker to poach the chicken in duck fat, olive oil, and chicken stock to get the same type of shreddable falling apart tender chicken thigh without having to stew it for hours.
This recipe includes a lot of my favorite “hacks” to get a lot of depth of flavor into a weeknight cooking dish.
- I am using very rich ingredients to get a lot of strong flavors right away- brussels sprouts, duck fat, and habanero peppers are all very bold flavors that combine well.
- I’m using a pressure cooker (such as the Instant Pot) to braise the chicken with aromatics such as thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorn to infuse it with flavor in a short amount of time.
- I’m saving the broth that I cook the chicken in to boil the pasta- this salty, fatty water will coat the pasta and give every bite of the pasta a rich well-seasoned flavor. By having every component of the dish be individually well-seasoned, it creates a rich mouthfeel when all the ingredients are combined at the end.
The end result is an incredibly complex and hearty dish that you can easily make in under an hour at home on a weeknight.
- 16 ounces penne pasta
- 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved, with the outside leaves removed
- 4 tablespoons duck fat, divided
- 1 habanero pepper, deseeded and minced
- 1 ounce parsley, diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 8 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Mix the brussels sprouts in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Lay the brussels sprouts on a roasting rack on a baking sheet.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, until the leaves are brown/black and the sprouts are fork tender.
- While the brussels sprouts are roasting, add 3 tablespoons of duck fat and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the Instant Pot liner and heat on Sauté mode. Add the whole garlic cloves and stir to coat. Add the chicken thighs and stir until they are lightly browned on the outside.
- Add the thyme, bay leaf, a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns, 2 tablespoons of salt, chicken stock and enough water to cover the chicken, and then lock the lid of the Insant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 15 minutes by touching the "Poultry" button.
- When the timer is up, quick release the pressure and transfer the chicken from the broth to a carving board to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut the chicken into small strips.
- Add 2 more quarts of water to the Instant Pot broth and bring to a boil on Sauté Mode. Use this broth to boil the penne pasta for the directed amount of time to make the pasta "al dente".
- Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta when it is done.
- In the empty instant pot liner, combine the cooked chicken with one tablespoon of duck fat, the minced habanero pepper, and half of the diced parsley, and stir to combine.
- Add the blackened brussels sprout leaves, the cooked pasta, and parmesan cheese to the liner and stir well to combine- you can add some of the reserved pasta cooking water if the mixture is dry. Serve immediately.
This recipe was adapted from:
Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.