CL - Chicken with Linguine, Leeks and Tomatoes

Back when we were first married, we bought one of the early versions of Mastercook (cookbook software) and it had two electronic Cooking Light cookbooks included on it. At the time, I was going to school at night to finish my degree and my Husband would make a late dinner for me. He's not afraid of trying new ingredients, and at the time, leeks were new to us. When he went to the grocery looking for them, he had to ask what they were since we were unfamiliar with them. As a result of this recipe, we now look out for nice leeks whenever we can so that we can incorporate them into other recipes.

Leeks have a mild onion flavor to them, and look like oversized scallions. When preparing them for cooking be sure to rinse them fully. There are several layers to them and sand and grit can get caught up in them. I've started cutting them to the size I want and then let them sit in cold water for a few minutes so that the grit will loosen and sink to the bottom of the bowl. Seems to work out nicely.

The spices that are rubbed into the chicken have just enough "kick" to them to make this light dinner very satisfying. I do double the amounts as I like to make sure each piece has a nice coating of the spices prior to cooking. The sauce is so delicious, that you'll want to make sure to have some crusty bread ready to sop up the yumminess. If there are leftovers, they do reheat very well the next day for lunch.

Chicken With Linguine, Leeks, and Tomatoes
Source: Cooking Light, March 1995
Serving Size : 4

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
Vegetable cooking spray
2 teaspoons margarine (for dairy free, use plant based butter such as Earth Balance)
3 cups sliced leeks -- (3 medium)
3 cloves garlic -- minced
1 cup low-salt chicken broth (for gluten free, double check ingredients on prepared broth)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon salt
14 1/2 ounces no-salt-added whole tomatoes -- (1 can)undrained and chopped
4 ounces linguine -- uncooked (use your favorite gluten free pasta if you need to avoid gluten ingredients)

Place each chicken piece between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. (or purchase thin sliced chicken breasts)

Combine 1/4 teaspoon of salt, garlic powder, and next 4 ingredients; sprinkle over both sides of chicken, and set aside.

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; add margarine, and place over medium-high heat until margarine melts. Add the chicken, and cook 1-1/2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet; set aside.

Add leeks and garlic to skillet; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil.

Break linguine into 2-inch pieces; add linguine and chicken to skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and 1 cup pasta and vegetables).

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 325 Calories; 5g Fat (13.0% calories from fat); 36g Protein; 37g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 335mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 3 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.


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