Chicken, Main Attraction, Pasta

Mother’s Day Chicken Fusilli with Greens and Raspberries

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18056825_10158780108310107_5590249736683963565_n (1)Ohhhhh Mother’s Day. As a Mom who ran a restaurant for 15 years, I still can’t quite bring myself to go out to eat on what was, for most of my chef life, the most harrowing day of the year. A day filled with families (eep), high expectations (yikes), epic crowds and last-minute reservations, all centred around a woman who might really have rather spent the afternoon all by herself.

Anyway, the Mother’s Day offerings around the Valley are pretty enticing, what with brunch buffets and special menus on offer at many of my favourite places. Enjoying delicious food that someone else cooked and not having to clean up the kitchen after really is a wonderful thing. So mothers, if you see me dining out on May 14th, just give me a knowing wink. I’ll give you one right back, one that says “I see you Mama. I see your lack of sleep, the many voices demanding your attention, your time, your body. I know where you really want to be right now is in loungewear, reading a good book and eating some creamy pasta with chicken and raspberries.”

Chicken Fusilli with Greens and Raspberries serves 4-6

Use whatever fresh greens are at the market and your favourite cider in this luxurious love note to the Moms in your life. If you stop in at Webster’s in Cambridge you can buy a pail of the most flavourful berries you’ve ever eaten, berries that, while frozen, look and taste like they were just picked. In the picture I’ve garnished the pasta with apple blossoms but any edible petals are a pretty sweet touch.

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large Onion, sliced or diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss Chard, Kale or Spinach, stems and leaves chopped separately
1/2 teaspoon Salt
freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
1 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 cup Apple Cider
1 lb. Fusilli or other short, stubby Pasta, cooked
2 cups diced cooked Chicken
1 cup Raspberries, fresh or frozen, defrosted
To serve: Edible flower petals, freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese and Chopped Parsley

Heat your largest pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and onions. Stir and cook for at least ten minutes, until onions have softened and are browned in spots. Turn the heat to high, then stir in the garlic, the chopped stems and a few spoonfuls of water. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the chopped leaves. If you’re using kale, add 1/4 cup water (spinach and chard have enough moisture of their own). Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for five to ten minutes, stirring from time to time, until the greens are tender (kale will take longer than chard or spinach). Add the salt and some black pepper to taste.

Increase the heat to high and stir in the cream and cider. Bring to a boil and let the sauce bubble for a minute, then stir in the pasta and chicken. Cook for five to ten minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened and pasta is nicely coated. Taste to see if it needs a little more salt, then gently fold in the raspberries and divide among serving bowls. Sprinkle with the petals, parmesan cheese and parsley and serve with sweet reverence for the amazing women in your life.