After eating waaayyy too many Thanksgiving leftovers, I was very ready for something light and different for dinner the other night! It is starting to get a little cold outside here in Texas (finally!) so pasta immediately came to mind. The trouble with pasta is that the traditional sauces like spaghetti and Alfredo don’t work well for me, so I decided to take a different approach while also working with what I had in the fridge. The result was zucchini pasta, a luxurious white wine cream sauce, caramelized fennel, and crispy chicken.
I’ve only recently discovered fennel, and I am loving the slightly sweet, faint licorice flavor in my dishes and the way that it caramelizes like onions. This dish is a perfect way to get in all your vegetables, satisfy your pasta craving, and get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!
This dish is easily customizable. For the noodles, I decided to use widely spiraled ribbon zucchini noodles because it was the easiest option, but you can also spiral the noodles thinner into spaghetti-like strands, use spaghetti squash, or use gluten free pasta. For the protein, feel free to use chicken breast instead of thighs, or even shrimp! It is also perfect topped with a bit of Parmesan cheese.
Exciting news, I am getting ready to go to Hawaii next Thursday! Life hasn’t really slowed down much since I finished up school. I took a second part time job, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get my business up and running, which means my days are pretty much non-stop. That being said, I am so excited for some R&R! I’m also in the middle of a new phase of my health journey, and haven’t quite been able to figure out what is going wrong. I do think that stress plays a significant factor in what I’m dealing with, so I’m looking forward to seeing how some downtime affects me. I’m also hoping to put up a travel post for you all with tips on how I travel while gluten free and where to eat! So look out for that in the coming weeks.
Also, it is time to start Christmas recipe development! I have a few ideas for cookies that I want to put on the blog, but what else? What are your holiday traditions? If there is anything you are dying to know how to make gluten free, please let me know in the comments!
- 2 Large or 3 Small Zucchini
- 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (a little over 1 lb)
- 2 Tbs Fat of Choice (I used ghee)
- 1 Large Fennel Bulb
- 1 Shallot
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/3 Cup White Wine (can replace with chicken broth if needed)
- 2/3 Cup Chicken Broth
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Milk
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 1 Tbs Butter
- Spiral the zucchini noodles, lay on a sheet pan covered with paper towels to absorb excess moisture, and sprinkle with salt
- Pat dry chicken thighs with paper towels to reduce splatter, trim of excess fat, and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat ghee over medium high heat, add chicken, and sear for about five minutes per side, until crispy. You will probably need to work in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.
- While chicken is cooking, slice the fennel bulb in half. With the cut side down, slice the bulb thinly into 1/8 inch pieces. Mince the garlic and shallots.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, add fennel to the pan and saute until it begins to caramelize. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the broth and wine to the pan, making sure to bring up any brown bits leftover from the chicken. Simmer the mixture until reduced by 1/2, about 5 minutes.
- While sauce is reducing, wring out all moisture in the zucchini noodles with paper towels and saute the zucchini noodles over medium heat with about 1/2 Tbs of olive oil, until cooked through.
- Add coconut milk, butter, and lemon juice to the sauce, allow to reduce for about 2 more minutes until thick.
- Slice the chicken thighs, then assemble pasta with noodles, add sauce and fennel, then top with chicken!