Chicken with Lemon-Leek Zucchini “Linguine”

Chicken with Lemon-Leek Zucchini Linguine

This Chicken with Lemon-Leek Zucchini “Linguine” is a result of my neighbor Bonnie’s generosity. In addition to working full time, running marathons and cycling untold miles each week, she decided to rent space in a community garden this past summer.

When I saw her first zucchini harvest {and was graciously offered a few gigantic specimens} I wanted to help with some creative ways to use up what would be picked in the coming weeks.

In Husband’s words, this dish is “restaurant worthy.” That’s a huge compliment, given it was created out of an attempt to make a recipe I’d found in a magazine healthier, replacing pasta with zucchini “noodles.”

I’ve already shared my love of the “spiralizer” – which would have made quick and easy work of making the noodles for this dish. But I wanted more of a flat “linguine” feel – and discovered that didn’t take much more effort. Simply use your vegetable peeler to make long strips of the squash, then stack and cut into noodles.

Chicken with Lemon-Leek Zucchini "Linguine"
  • 4 large or 6 medium zucchini
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, divided
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced (1½ cups)
  • ½ cup chicken broth {preferably homemade}
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into long strips lengthwise. Stack the strips and cut into ¼”noodles.” Place noodles in large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, tossing gently to distribute. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse the zucchini in a colander, under cold water, gently tossing to remove salt. You’ll want to make sure and dry the zucchini at this point. A salad spinner works great, but if you don’t have one, place the zucchini on a clean dish towel and squeeze gently to remove the excess.
  3. Meanwhile, place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to an even thickness. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish; dredge chicken in flour, shaking to remove excess.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; tent with foil to keep warm.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, leek, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth and juice; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.
  6. Add zucchini to leek mixture; tossing until combined and zucchini is heated through. {If you like a more tender "noodle" continue to sauté on low until zucchini reaches the desired consistency.}
  7. Place about 1 cup of zucchini mixture on serving plate, and top with chicken breast. Sprinkle with parsley.

Of course you can substitute pasta for the zucchini if you wish – and it would be delicious. But the zucchini makes me feel less guilty going back for that inevitable second serving.

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