Honey-Lemon-Ginger Chicken Pasta

If all of that talk the other day of honey-flavored treats for your pooch got you feeling a little jealous, here is an even more enticing (and infinitely more human-oriented) recipe to cheer you up! It's a little surprising that it has taken me so long to share this recipe for Honey-Lemon-Ginger Chicken with you, since I more or less thought that I was in heaven the moment I took my first bite. It really is sweet and tangy at its best, with flavor out the wa-zoo to make every drop of simple, refined sugars it dumps into your blood stream well worth it. I even like to think the mouthful of a title is appropriately reminiscent of how jam-packed it is with flavor - one succinct title could never adequately encompass the full taste experience that is this dish.

Of course, I had to add some veggies to it, because in my mind, every savory meal could benefit from a healthy serving of extra vegetables. The original also calls for skin-on thighs, and I used my tried-and-true boneless, skinless (flavorless? ergh) breast meat. If you like to rationalize your food decisions (which the budding counselor in me vehemently discourages, but the human being in me does oh, I don't know, a half dozen times a day...), just say these additional vegetables, switch to white meat, and, perhaps, a side of whole grain pasta or brown rice in place of their refined counterparts completely counteract the downsides of the sugary marinade.

Or, you know, just eat it and enjoy it, because it's ridiculously good.

Also, feel free to make this with precooked chicken - I'm almost positive that's what I did all those months ago, in which case you would just skip the initial step meant to sear the chicken. All of my changes that I made led to a less photogenic dish - as in, the "sauce" wasn't as glistening and "sticky" looking as the original - but the flavors are all still spot-on.

Honey-Lemon-Ginger Chicken Pasta, adapted from Home Cooking Rocks
Yield: 1 serving
(printable recipe)

The Ingredients
4-5 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast (approximately 1/2 - 1 breast)
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup baby bella mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/8 - 1/4 cup broccoli cuts
1 tablespoon water
scant amount of oil (or nonstick spray), for cooking
1/2 cup cooked whole grain pasta, for serving

The Method
Place the chicken in a sautee pan, greased with the oil or spray, and cook over high heat for a couple of minutes; if you're using meat with skin, you're looking for the skin to turn golden brown. Flip the chicken over and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove the chicken (disposing of the rendered fat if using meat with skin) and slice down before returning to the pan.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and wait for the sauce to start to bubble. At this time, lower the heat and cover the pan, letting it continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, adjust the consistency of the sauce if it's too thin by raising the heat and removing the lid to allow the sauce to cook down and thicken for a couple of minutes. Serve atop a bed of pasta with any extra sauce drizzled over it.

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