September 21, 2011

Browned Butter Ravioli with Chicken, Toasted Walnuts, and Crispy Sage

I should've had your attention at the mention of browned butter. At least, that's my hope anyway. I feel comfortable telling you that I think all food should be smothered in some version of browned butter. I know it sounds a little crazy, but browned butter is just that magical. It made this quick and easy recipe really special with not a lot of effort. Hooray browned butter!

Browned Butter Ravioli with Chicken,Toasted Walnuts, and Crispy Sage
From: via Pinterest

1 lb chicken breast with rib meat
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
9 oz fresh mini ravioli
2 oz (1/2 cup) walnuts
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme and rub over both sides of the chicken. In a dutch oven or large, oven-safe pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook for two more minutes. Move the pot to the oven and continue cooking for 25-30 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool for 5 minutes, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

Boil and drain the ravioli according the to package directions. Set aside.

Place the walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat and toast for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove and chop. Wipe the skillet clean, and melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet over medium heat. When the butter just starts to turn brown, add the sage and stir constantly for one minute. Immediately add the ravioli and stir to combine. Add the chicken and most of the chopped walnuts and stir. Plate the pasta and top with remaining walnuts.

The Result:
I did some adapting for my family. First, I couldn't find fresh sage so I used ground...probably about a teaspoon. Then, my chicken was already cooked from last night (I made smart of me, I know!) so I skipped the chicken cooking step entirely. I basically boiled the ravioli, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, toasted the walnuts, and made the sauce. I combined everything in the same pan and--BOOM!--dinner was ready. This ended up coming together very quickly...SCORE!

On another note, I used a whole stick of butter for the sauce, closer to a cup of walnuts, and three packages of spinach/cheese ravioli. We needed to feed five people and have enough for two lunches the next day. I cook for a big family, so I always adjusted the quantities accordingly.

Another note on top of the previous note, This would be a fabulous vegetarian dinner, by omitting the chicken. Honestly, the chicken just added bulk and not much else. I would have been happy with just the ravioli, walnuts and browned butter sauce. Either version gets a solid thumbs up from me!

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