Charred Lemon Chicken over Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
This chicken dinner gets the cheffy treatment with charred lemon. We halve the fruit, then sear cut-side down in the same pan as chicken breasts to caramelize its sugars and give a concentrated, smoky-sweet flavor to the meat. Some of the lemon is then juiced into a sauce for angel hair noodles with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, butter, and white wine, while the remainder is cut into wedges for squeezing over the chicken and pasta.
Total cook time
- 1/4 ounce oregano
- 6 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 lemons
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 ounces angel hair pasta
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 38 grams unsalted butter
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Set aside half of whole oregano sprigs for the next step; strip remaining oregano leaves, discarding stems. Thinly slice sun-dried tomatoes; reserve .25 cup for garnish and set aside. If you have a zester and want to infuse your sauce with even more flavor, zest up to 1 lemon, then halve lemons. Thinly slice garlic.
Pat chicken dry with paper towel; season all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken; top with whole oregano sprigs (see recipe tip). Cook until browned on bottom, 6 minutes; flip and add lemon halves to pan, cut-side down. Cook until lemons are charred and chicken is no longer pink, 6 minutes more.
While chicken cooks, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in angel hair pasta and cook until al dente, 4-5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, once chicken is cooked, remove and discard whole oregano sprigs from pan, then transfer chicken and charred lemons to a plate and set aside to rest, leaving behind oil in pan. Reserve pan, off heat, for the next step.
Use the remaining downtime while the pasta cooks to set the table. Then, in a blender or food processor, combine lemon zest (if using), remaining sun-dried tomatoes (not reserved .25 cup), .33 cup reserved pasta cooking water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil; blend until smooth (see recipe tip). Set aside. Place pan from chicken over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic; sauté, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute.
Add white wine to pan with garlic, still over medium heat. Cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Stir in butter, sun-dried tomato purée, and juice of 1.5 charred lemons; remove pan from heat. Add cooked angel hair to pan with sauce. Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in remaining reserved pasta cooking water until sauce is silky and clings to noodles.
Cut rested chicken into .25-inch slices. Divide sun-dried tomato pasta among serving plates. Top with sliced chicken. Garnish with oregano leaves and reserved sun-dried tomatoes. Cut remaining charred lemon into wedges and serve alongside for squeezing over. Enjoy!
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.