Friday, June 11, 2010

Orange Balsamic Chicken with Pecans and Sage Butter Pasta

I just realized that this is the third Rachel Ray recipe I've posted in a row. I promise it's just coincidental and I'm not a secret peddler of Rachel Ray goods. I also apologize for the ridiculously long name of this recipe. I don't think every single flavor needs to be in the title but what you can you do?

Anyways, I made this recipe the other night and I was pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of different flavors going on and I was a bit worried they wouldn't all work together. Plus, I'm not a huge sage person. Luckily, everything turned out super tasty.


The pictures may not be the most enticing, but the combination of the sweet chicken with the sage and the pecans was amazing. I also think the chicken would also be especially good over some rice.


I didn't have and chicken thighs so I used breasts instead. I also used regular toasted pecans instead of honey-roasted ones. I used thin whole-wheat spaghetti and I wasn't too fond of the texture. Even after under cooking the spaghetti, it still turned out too overcooked for my taste once thrown in with the warm sage butter. So I'd recommend sticking with regular whole-wheat spaghetti. I'm sure dried rosemary would be fine, but I'd definitely go for fresh sage if you can. It will make all the difference in a dish like this.

Would I make this again? Yes, but not with the whole-wheat pasta.

Orange Balsamic Chicken Thighs with Pecans and Sage Butter Pasta


Salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, quartered
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup orange marmalade
3 cups arugula or baby spinach
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sage leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 cup honey-roasted pecans, chopped


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and the pot.

2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Sprinkle the rosemary on top and cook the chicken until crispy and brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

3. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and marmalade into the skillet, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the arugula.

4. In the pasta pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sage and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and pasta water and toss. Add the 1/2 cup grated cheese and season with salt. Sprinkle the pecans on the chicken and serve with the pasta and a little extra cheese.


  1. I think this sounds great! I host Saturdays with Rachael Ray on my blog - you should check it out and link up next time you make a RR recipe!

  2. Thank you! I will definitely try to remember that. :)