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Smoked Chicken and Lemon-Thyme Pasta

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Imperial (US)
Easy, quick, light pasta entree that we use for left over smoked chicken. A treat! Aridus 2016 Sauv Blanc makes a crisp, light combination at lunch. For a smoother, more buttery pairing, garnish with grated parmesan or romano cheese, and serve with the 2012 or 2014 Aridus Chardonnay at supper.
  • 10 ozs dried pasta. (We used gemelli, but penne or even fettucini would be fine.)
  • 3 tbsps butter
  • 1 1/2 tsps minced garlic (2 good sized cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 fresh lemons)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tsps cornstarch, dissolved in 3 tsp water or stock
  • 10 ozs smoked chicken (should be ready to eat)
  • 2 tbsps fresh thyme (or 2 tsp dried)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta, and cook to desired consistency, about 15-20 minutes.  Drain, then toss the pasta w a tablespoon of the butter, and salt and pepper to taste.  Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking.  Heat small saucepan over medium high heat, and add and melt a tablespoon of the butter.  Add garlic and lemon zest.  Cook quickly, just until the garlic starts to brown.  Immediately add lemon juice and stock, and bring to boil for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat, then slowly add cornstarch mixture, whisking to prevent lumps.  Add chicken and heat through.  Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Stir in 1.5 tablespoons fresh or 1.5 teaspoons dried thyme.  Toss with the pasta.  Garnish with the remaining thyme.