Baked Chicken & Mafalda Pasta with Honey & Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Baked Chicken & Mafalda Pasta

with Honey & Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

30 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This recipe highlights an easy, homemade dressing that you’ll make simply by combining balsamic vinegar with Italian-style seasonings, sharp dijon mustard, and sweet honey. We’re using the zesty dressing as a flavorful coating for our baked chicken, and also serving it on the side to drizzle over a bed of veggie-laden pasta.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    770 Cals (est.)
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tips & techniques
Make the dressing & bake the chicken:
1 Make the dressing & bake the chicken:

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Line a sheet pan with foil; lightly oil the foil. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey (kneading the packet before opening), vinegar, mustard, Italian seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer half the dressing to a bowl and set aside for serving. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the large bowl of dressing; turn to thoroughly coat. Transfer to the sheet pan. Bake 19 to 21 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cutting board. 

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
2 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the chicken bakes, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and thinly slice crosswise into rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves.

Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken continues to bake, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the vegetables:
4 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced shallot and chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted. Add 1/3 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Slice the baked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Serve with the reserved dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Make the dressing & bake the chicken:
1 Make the dressing & bake the chicken:

Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fill a large pot with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Line a sheet pan with foil; lightly oil the foil. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey (kneading the packet before opening), vinegar, mustard, Italian seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer half the dressing to a bowl and set aside for serving. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the large bowl of dressing; turn to thoroughly coat. Transfer to the sheet pan. Bake 19 to 21 minutes, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a cutting board. 

2 Prepare the remaining ingredients:

While the chicken bakes, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel the carrots and thinly slice crosswise into rounds. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves.

Prepare the remaining ingredients:
Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the chicken continues to bake, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

4 Cook the vegetables:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced carrots; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the sliced shallot and chopped kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted. Add 1/3 cup of water (carefully, as the liquid may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat.

Cook the vegetables:
Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables, butter, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Slice the baked chicken crosswise. Serve the sliced chicken over the finished pasta. Serve with the reserved dressing on the side. Enjoy!

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