I was expecting a Macarrones con Carne, but with Pollo. You’d think it would be that simple, but of course, we’re 83 recipes into this. Nothing is that simple.
Cutting a chicken into quarters is no biggie when you have pre-cut chicken in your grocery store. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to cut a chicken the right way. Maybe I won’t. Luckily, it is inconsequential for The Project.
Making a chicken sauce like a meat sauce is pretty cool. You make an onion and ham sofrito, and then you add in the chicken pieces.
After a few minutes, you add garlic, tomato sauce, dry white wine, chicken stock, salt and pepper.
Once the sauce starts to boil, you lower the heat to medium and cover until the chicken cooks through. Then, you get started on the most absolute best way to make pasta. Laugh if you must, but until this day, I had only boiled pasta in water, oil and salt. Boiling pasta in chicken broth – homemade chicken broth made by me, many many months ago and frozen – is just genius.
I will say, however, that I freaked out when Nitza said that all I needed for a whole pound of pasta was three cups of broth. Freaked out.
But, she was right. I boiled the three cups of stock, added the pasta and let it cook for ten minutes. The pasta sucked in all the broth and I couldn’t stop tasting the pasta for doneness. Who am I kidding? The pasta was done. It was too good to not keep picking at.
While the pasta was boiling, I had taken the chicken out of the sauce and shredded the meat off the bone. You add the meat back into the sauce.
Once the pasta is ready, you add it to the sauce.
Apparently pasta is very thirsty. Not only does it suck in the chicken broth completely, but it also sucks in the tomato chicken sauce pretty thoroughly.
You lay it all down into a glass Pyrex, shred gouda and galleta molida (cuban cracker crumbs) over the top, and bake for 25 minutes at 350.
Heaven on earth. With perfect pasta. And gouda.