Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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ASPARAGUS AND CHICKEN  RAGU                     C. B. Original


1 tablespoon olive oil
cup minced onions
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
tablespoon chopped garlic
pound julienne chicken or turkey (either confit or smoked)
pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, blanched* and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 oz. concentrated (reduced) chicken stock**
6 oz. dried penne pasta
Drizzle of really good olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf Italian parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the penne pasta and proceed to cook for about 9 minutes.  The last minute of cooking is done when the pasta is added to the chicken ragu mixture for its last bit of cooking. 

In a large saute pan, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the garlic and chicken. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1 minute. Add the reduced chicken stock. 

Then add the pasta that has about one more minute of cooking to go.  Stir over moderate heat for about 1 - 2 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.  Serve in individual warmed pasta bowls or plates.  Garnish with chopped parsley.  Drizzle a little really good olive oil over the mixture.

serves 2

Options:            Use smoked duck or turkey or confit of duck.  Add a little chopped buffalo mozzarella cheese tossed in at the end.

A good Chardonnay.  Crispy baguette.

*           Add 1 TBSP. vegetable oil (peanut is O.K.) to a large pot of boiling water.  Drop asparagus     in boiling water for no more than 3 minutes.  Remove asparagus from boiling water and drop into a big bowl of ice water and ice to stop the cooking and set the bright green color.

  **            Take either 1 cup of homemade chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken stock and boil it until reduced to about 3 ounces.