Dinner from Leftover Pasta and Two Chicken Breasts

The other day, I was wondering what to do with some angel hair pasta in the fridge. I hadn’t made enough pasta sauce for the leftover and besides, I wasn’t feeling like a hot and heavy meal.

So, I began to think of what I wanted to eat: cold noodles…an Asian flavor profile with citrus and soy sauce…crisp sliced cucumber…the bite of green onion. I wanted to keep everything light and refreshing.

I had a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that needed cooking so I thought I could make one sauce, divide it up using some for the pasta and some for a marinade for the chicken. Then grill the chicken, slice it and fan it over the noodles. So far, so good!

When I tried out the combination, I liked the flavors but the sauce didn’t have enough oomph to really flavor the noodles. So on a second try, I boiled the sauce to reduce it and intensify the flavors.

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It was a hit at home. Here’s how the recipe turned out:

Citrus-Soy Chicken
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
1/4 cup sliced green onion
1/2 English cucumber, halved, seeded and sliced 1/4-inch thick

  1. In medium bowl, combine orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. Put the chicken into a zip top, quart-size freezer bag and pour 1/2 cup of the citrus-soy mixture over chicken. Zip top and marinate for 2 hours, turning the bag occasionally to distribute the marinade.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salad dressing: Put remaining citrus-soy mixture into a non-reactive saucepan and bring to boiling; lower heat to medium and continue to boil until the mixture is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  3. Cook angel hair pasta following package directions, drain and run cool water over pasta to bring to room temperature. Drain thoroughly.
  4. Remove chicken breasts from marinade, discard the marinade and grill chicken over medium heat about 7 minutes on each side until cooked through.
  5. To assemble, in large bowl, combine pasta and green onion and toss with salad dressing, to taste. (You may not need all the dressing). Divide onto individual serving plates. Scatter with cucumber, dividing equally. Slice chicken and fan over pasta and veggies. Pass any remaining dressing.

Makes 2 to 3 servings.

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Posted: Jul 22nd by Sandy_Hu