I usually spend Sunday nights thinking about what to cook for the rest of the week, or at least for the next few days. Sometimes, as I am going through in my head the ingredients I have in my fridge and pantry, I realise that I have "accumulated" ingredients over the past few days during my grocery shopping trips. This often happens when I'm browsing in the supermarket aisles, spot an item (or "items" usually) and feel inspired to make something with it. Or sometimes, they have these "buy 2 items at a special price" deals, although I really only need to use one. Just the other day, G bought these avocadoes as they were on special. I didn't realise until the next day that they were on the verge of being overripe. I figured the best way to use them up was to make this chicken and avocado pasta, which is one of our favourite kid-friendly go-to meals. Chicken and avocado always pair well together, and the light and creamy sauce in the pasta allows the rich and buttery taste of the avocadoes to shine through.
I used chicken breast fillets in this recipe. The best way to cook them without getting them tough and dry is to brown them in a hot pan on both sides, and then cover the pan to let the steam cook the chicken through. That way, the meat will be tender, moist and juicy. Use avocadoes that are just ripe. They should feel firm but not rock-hard. Press gently on the surface and it should yield slightly with a bit of pressure. If it feels a little soft and squishy under the skin, then it may be overripe. It's better to get an underripe one and let it ripen at room temperature over a few days.
Here is the recipe for this classic combination turned pasta dish:
Creamy Chicken and Avocado Fettuccine
1 chicken breast fillet (about 500g)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small red/spanish onion, sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup cream
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped parsley (optional)
Some rocket or mixed salad leaves
2 avocadoes, sliced
Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil in a pan on high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place it in the pan. Brown the chicken about 2-3 minutes each side. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to low-medium. Let it steam in the pan for 4-6 minutes until cooked. Lift the chicken from the pan and drain off excess juice and oil (leave the oil in the pan for later). Transfer to a plate and let it cool slightly before cutting into thin slices.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. At the same time, heat the same pan used for the chicken, using the reserved oil in the pan, and add the garlic and onion, followed by mushrooms. When mushrooms start to soften, add mustard, stock and cream. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken slightly. Add the butter and chopped parsley and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
When ready to serve, stir through the rocket/salad leaves and toss the pasta through the sauce until evenly coated. Transfer onto serving plates and top with sliced chicken, avocado, and grated parmesan. Enjoy!