An Easy One-Pot Chicken Dinner That’s as Generous as They Come

Sometimes, delicious is obvious. You can’t miss the charred curds on tandoori chicken, the crisp edges on a lasagna, the ripe flesh of a peach. But what draws us to a bowl of rice cooked in coconut milk? Or bread pudding?

Recipe: One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Noodles

Desirability can be harder to spot when it’s one thing absorbing another. But it’s these saturation points — where an ingredient that gives meets one that takes — that comfort. We fold warm, peeled potatoes through mayonnaise, sauce our noodles in the pan and unravel over a potpie with a squidgy layer of puff pastry soaked with what’s below.

Food that’s long on this sort of satisfaction isn’t technical. In fact, while being a professional chef has given me technical ability, it’s a loyalty to my appetite that makes the food. My role at home — like any cook — is facilitator, here to provide the conditions that draw flavor and juices out of one ingredient to hand off to the next.

This recipe for chicken cooked with noodles is the opposite of flashy or groundbreaking.

Skimming the ingredient list, you could mistake it for chicken Alfredo. But too often chicken Alfredo is a wasted opportunity. Seared, sliced chicken breast and creamy pasta are combined only at the time of serving — a romance without rapport — but in this recipe, the two ingredients are layered in one pot with plenty of water to make something deeper, lighter and intuitive.

There are many ways to let chicken and noodles have at it: You can boil the bird and cook noodles in the resulting stock. You can braise the chicken to make a more concentrated sauce, which is delicious over buttered noodles.

This recipe splits the difference. It begins by roasting a whole, butter-rubbed, Parmesan-rind-stuffed chicken and a head of garlic under high heat. The skin and butter brown, the garlic sweetens, the bird infuses with the nutty flavors of the cheese. The pot is deglazed with water, less than you would use in a soup, but more than for a braise. Then, the noodles cook in the same pot so they can take in all that flavored broth. In a final act of generosity, the noodles share their starches with the broth, thickening it into a sauce.

Good things happen when ingredients are given a warm introduction and a chance to know one another.

Follow New York Times Cooking on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest. Get regular updates from New York Times Cooking, with recipe suggestions, cooking tips and shopping advice.

Related Articles

Back to top button