I recently moved from my much beloved and weird South Austin to a blander but cheaper cost of living in far North Austin. One of the key things I’ve been missing up here is restaurant diversity. I had a stable of solid Greek places down south that I just don’t have up north so I decided it was high time to attempt to recreate and update one of my favorite dishes from one of my favorite south Austin Greek places, Zorba. Zorba is probably a chain or something but they have a great chef down south creating some good food and one of my faves was a chicken pasta that used a feta creme sauce along with mushrooms and, when they had them on hand (and sometimes when I was there they didn’t :-/ ) artichoke hearts.
I grabbed a large thing of feta and baby San Marzano tomatoes from Costco, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and imported pasta from Trader Joe’s, and sorta pulled this recipe from the ether, so here it goes:
Deus Ex Pasta of Epicness
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 hearty helpings, 6 reasonable helpings
1 cup red onion, diced
1-2 cups mushrooms, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, diced ( I used San Marzanos for flavor)
1 can artichoke hearts, diced with the can only half drained (12 or 16 oz can, don’t skimp)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, diced (you can use more if you want)
2 chicken breasts (you can leave this out if you want it vegetarian)
2 TBS Miracle Whip with Olive Oil
1/3 cup Olive Oil (Extra Virgin if you got it)
1/2 cup White Wine (citrus notes, bright if you got it)
2 cups Feta
Greek Seasonings (I used Savory Spice Shop’s Mt. Olympus mix)
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, diced (or 1 TBS of the stuff in a jar)
Black Pepper (to taste, can use Lemon Pepper)
1 standard sized bag of pasta of choice (I used Trader Joe’s imported radiatore)
1. In a standard skillet or wok, combine your defrosted chicken breasts, the garlic, 1/2 cup water, and a liberal amount of your Greek Seasoning and Black Pepper and allow to cook on medium high heat, flipping the breasts every few minutes for even consistency. You may baste the breasts with olive oil to add flavor. Put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
2. Once the chicken is almost done, pull it with a fork and add your veggies to the skillet. Stir them occasionally while you chop the almost done breasts into small (bite sized) pieces and then toss the chicken back in.
3) Your pasta water should be boiling, now drop your pasta in it to cook via the instructions for your pasta.
4) Your veggies should have cooked up nicely, now add the liquid from your artichoke hearts, the white wine, the 2 cups of feta, and your miracle whip to create the sauce. Stir continuously for several minutes and add more seasonings as desired.
5) Once your pasta is done, pour your chicken and sauce over your pasta.
6) Enjoy with a side of your white wine.