Smoked Chicken Rigatoni

The smoked chickens I buy by the case from the Hutterites at the Forest River (N.D.) Colony are some of the finest-tasting fowl around. All I have to do is pop a frozen one in the oven inside my Dutch oven and cook it for about three hours at 325 degrees, and the feasting begins. Sometimes, I’ll set the temperature at 275 and cook a frozen one for about four hours.

Just last night, we dined on one. Of course, we can’t eat a whole chicken, so there are a lot of leftovers. They are great for chicken sandwiches as well as for Mexican delights such as burritos, enchiladas and tacos.

But that’s not to say I’m not looking for new ways to use the chicken. Just this morning, I came across a recipe for Smoked Chicken Rigatoni, which combines the fowl with mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula and Parmesan cheese, among other things. Its author described it as an Italian taste sensation.

That’s good enough for me.

Smoked Chicken Rigatoni
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup porcini mushrooms, sliced or chopped
½ cup washed arugula
½ cup chicken stock
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup smoked chicken, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups Rigatoni pasta (cooked)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a hot pan and saute chopped garlic. Add in mushrooms and arugula with ½ cup stock and continue to cook. Add in the chopped tomatoes and smoked chicken with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook for 1 minute, add in the cooked pasta and heat for 1 minute. Finally add in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Drizzle on some good olive oil and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 4.

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