Friday, November 15, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Corkscrew Pasta in Preserved Lemon and Garlic Sauce


Since my romantic foray with preserved lemons started I've been using it as an extra ingredient rather than letting it be the star of the show. In my Grilled Chicken with Corkscrew Pasta in Preserved Lemon and Garlic Sauce, it is the star ... front and center, shinning, glistening beautifully and adding so much depth of flavor, it's almost sinful - almost. This recipe starts by marinating the chicken in preserved lemon, the lemon brine and lots of garlic. It is then grilled to perfection. While your pasta cooks you create a luscious, lemon and garlic infused creamy sauce that will coat the ridged, corkscrew pasta. Those lovely ridges are what help hold the sauce onto the pasta and deliver the most amazing bite.  This makes a big batch, enough that The Hub and I had leftovers for our lunch.  As some you already know, The Hub is my constant gauge as to whether a recipe is good, great or amazing. This recipe, he said, was amazing - he kept mentioning how mellow and delicious the flavor of the lemon was. That made me pretty darn happy!

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs OR 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied so that you have 4 individual pieces
1 preserved lemon, chopped, + 1/2 preserved lemon, diced
2 tablespoon of the preserved lemon brine
1/2 a head of garlic, minced or passed through a press
1/8 cup of olive oil
Pepper to taste
Large palm full of roughly chopped parsley, divided in two

Add all the ingredients (except 1/2 preserved lemon and parsley) to a large glass
bowl. With clean hands, massage all the ingredients into the chicken pieces. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge minimum of 2 hours or overnight (even better).

What you need at the grill:
Sturdy grill tongs
Cooking oil spray or canola oil in a small bowl and a brush to swipe over grill grates
A large piece of aluminum foil - large enough to fold over  and enclose all the chicken pieces (like a pouch) when done.

Spray grill with cooking oil. Heat your grill using a high flame (about 10 minutes). Place each piece on grill, do not try to move it at this point, and lower grill cover. If you want crisscross grill marks, after 3 minutes, give each piece a quarter turn and lower flame to medium and continue to grill for an additional 3 minutes. Raise flame to high, flip over each piece and repeat process if you want crisscross grill marks. Grill on high flame for 2 minutes, then reduce flame to medium and continue cooking 3-4 minutes. Place all the pieces in a large sheet of foil and close tightly, allowing to rest for 5 minutes. Slice diagonally into 2 inch long pieces.

For the sauce:

1 pound of corkscrew pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 a head of garlic, finely minced or pass through the garlic press
1 preserved lemon, diced
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon of preserved lemon brine
2 egg yolks beaten with 3/4 cup heavy cream (yolk should be at room temperature)
1 palm full of parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 preserved lemon, diced

Set your pasta to boil according to instructions on box. If done before sauce is ready, drain and keep warm.

Add oil, butter and shallots to a large stainless steel skillet. Heat slowly over low heat. Stirring occasionally and sauteing for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and diced preserved lemon, continuing on low heat, cook an additional 5-7 minutes. You want the shallot, garlic and lemon to infuse the oil and butter and not to brown the vegetables.

Increase heat to medium and add the lemon juice, white wine and lemon brine to deglaze the pan. Making sure to scrap bottom of pan to release any bits and cook for 1 minute. Stir pasta in to the sauce, then add chicken from foil envelope, juices and all. Next, stir in the egg and cream mixture. This will cause the sauce to thicken and become very creamy. The egg will "cook" with the heat of the ingredients in the pan. Sprinkle with parsley and the reserved diced preserved lemon.


  1. May try this with vegetarian chicken patties.

    1. Or you can leave the chicken out and use mushrooms and other veggies. I've made it that way too.

  2. Looking forward to trying this! Just pinned it!

    1. First, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment and secondly thank you for pinning! I do hope you enjoy it as much as we did. ENJOY!!!

  3. Yum, i love grilled chicken breast, and this is one of my favorite meals, great recipe, thanks for sharing....


    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting Simon! Love when folks stop by :-D