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Chicken, Bowties, and Vodka Sauce - total time 30 minutes


You might have noticed there aren't really any red meat recipes on this blog.  That is because I rarely eat it.  I just don't care for it.  There are several reasons for not eating red meat, or any meat in general.  I find that most of these ideas are a little extreme.  

For example, the health claims that red meat is bad for you.  Yes, it might have more cholesterol and fat than other foods, but it also has more protein and iron.  Or maybe you have seen PETA videos about the treatment of animals in CAFOs.  But thanks to journalists and authors for bringing issues like this to the public, grass-fed, free-range, organic options are available at nearly every grocery store.  This change also essentially eliminates other worries (Mad Cow disease, "pink slime", or other recall issues).

So when I saw Food Inc posted this article on Facebook defending Publican's Quality Meats against PETA, I was a little confused at first.  But after reading the article, I realized their point was exactly the same point I took away from their documentary.  It's not that eating meat is bad, it's a natural thing for most of the animal kingdom, it is about doing it with a conscious.  This means voting with your dollar by purchasing that grass-fed, free-range, organic meat or going to restaurants that serve it.  If everyone made this change, but our current quantity demand remained the same, there wouldn't be enough land to raise enough livestock.  So, it also means reducing that quantity in favor of quality.

To all of those vegans and vegetarians out there, more power to you!  I know I could do it, but I also don't want to know what is in that mock meat.  I like to keep my options open so I don't feel bad about indulging in a hamburger on occasion or trying something new (like Anthony Bourdain) while still trying to be conscious about my decisions and keeping produce and grains the bulk of each meal.

With that being said, here is another chicken recipe!  The pasta and chicken are pretty standard, it's the sauce that has a bit of a twist.  Vodka sauce was new to me a few years ago.  After having regular marinara all my life, the creamy, cheesy goodness became an instant favorite.  If you remove the cheese and use fresh cherry tomatoes, you keep the flavor and make the dish a little lighter.

1 lb. chicken cutlets
.5 cup flour
3 oz. vodka
3 oz veggie broth
.5 cup cream
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 green onion
2 cups bow tie pasta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp lemon
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

1.  Cook garlic and green onion in pan with a drizzle of olive oil for 1 minute.  Salt and pepper chicken, then dredge in flour.  Cook chicken on medium heat, about 4 minutes per side.  Remove chicken and set aside.
2.  Add vodka to deglaze pan.  Let the vodka simmer for a minute and then add the vegetable broth and cream.  Stir together and toss in the tomatoes.  Allow to cook down for about 5 minutes.
3.  Prepare the bow ties according to package.  Drain the water and add the bow ties back to the pot.  Add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper and toss together.
4.  Add a sprinkle of flour to the sauce to help thicken it, whisk or quickly stir it in.  Add the chicken back to the pan and let cook for a final 5 minutes.  
5.  Plate the bowties and add the chicken on top (either whole or cut up).  Spoon sauce and tomatoes over the chicken and pasta and serve.

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