Friday, June 13, 2014

Master Quench Chicken and Pasta

A few years back, I was enjoying an evening of music and friendship at the Lion's Den in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.   They always have a wonderful choice of local brews and high end wines.  That's what I usually drink.  I was drawn to a specialty drink on the menu called a Master Quench.  One of the ingredients is maple syrup, the real stuff of course.  I had to try it!  Maple syrup is one of my addictions.  It was made with vanilla vodka, ginger beer (not ginger ale), maple syrup, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Yes, it sounds strange!  But MY OH MY!  It is so good.  The sweet of the maple syrup takes some of the bite out of the cayenne pepper and the blend of those flavors is awesome!
My favorite REAL maple syrup

Fast forward to today.  I decided to make a marinade/sauce for my chicken and pasta based on those flavors.  I melted 2 ounces of butter and added 1/3 cup of Sriracha hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger, 3 tablespoons maple syrup and a cap full of real vanilla extract.  I let it warm slowly until I could smell all of the flavors had melded.

I cut up 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs into bite sized chunks and put in the bottom of my rice cooker.  I poured the melted butter mixture over the chicken.  I add 1 pound of elbow pasta and 4 cups of chicken broth. I mixed with tongs and put into the rice cooker base.  I cooked on the white rice setting until done.  I checked it after 12 minutes and stirred to be sure there was enough liquid for the pasta.   

It was AWESOME!!  My husband had 4 helpings.  It was so colorless though.  Next time, I will add diced sweet green and red peppers.

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