What on Earth is Hubcap Pasta?
Honestly, I don’t know. I good friend of mine is the culprit behind this name. You see, I was telling him about a recipe I found in Bon Appetit, and how, like an idiot, I began making it one evening without verifying that I had all the proper ingredients on hand. (Am I the only person who does this?) So, what happened was – I ended up white trashing the recipe about 14 different ways. I thought – okay, I’ll just call it White Trash Pasta, but the truth is – it’s pretty freaking good. So, my friend dubbed it Hubcap Pasta, and I’ll just go with it.
The original recipe is from Bon Appetit’s September 2010 issue, and is found on page 92, or here on the Bon Appetit website. The chefs at Bar La Grassa in Minneapolis were the creators of Paccheri Pasta with Braised Chicken and Saffron Cream. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Yes, yes it does. Which is precisely why I decided to make it.
Honestly, there really aren’t that many ingredients. 11, in fact. Of which I didn’t have 4. Yes, I know. Let’s not go there. So I don’t pay attention. I did, at least, buy the chicken thighs it calls for, as I don’t typically buy dark meat for us. So there. I tried.
What 4 ingredients I didn’t have were replaced with Casa Whetzel substitutes. For saffron threads, I used a touch of ginger. They are vaguely similar. For paccheri, I used regular rotini. For 6 garlic cloves, I used the jarred minced variety. And the biggest substitute? I used a beer instead of dry white wine. Then I threw in some peas, because we need some vegetables with our starch around here. Perfect addition!
Believe it or not, this was a really, really good dish, and I will make it again, Same as I did last time. Sometimes life is filled with happy accidents.
Hubcap Pasta is one of them.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken thighs with skin and bones
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped white onions
- 2 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
- 12 oz can of Beer
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound regular rotini
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet or dutch oven (I used a dutch oven)over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, to skillet and cook until golden, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate. Add onions and garlic to drippings in skillet; sauté until onions are slightly softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the beer and ginger to skillet; bring to boil. Continue to boil until liquid is thickened and reduced by less than half, about 8 minutes. Add 2 cups chicken broth to skillet. Return chicken to skillet; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer gently until chicken is very tender (adjust heat to prevent boiling and turn chicken over after 30 minutes), about 1 hour total. Transfer chicken to plate and cool.
Reserve skillet with juices. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Tear chicken meat into bite-size pieces; place in medium bowl and reserve.
Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain; return to pot.
Meanwhile, spoon off fat from juices in skillet; discard fat. (This is not something I did, there was nothing to skim) Add cream to juices in skillet and boil until sauce is reduced to 2 1/2 cups and is thick enough to coat spoon, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, then chicken pieces and frozen peas. Stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin sauce as needed and adding more lemon juice by teaspoonfuls, if desired, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken mixture to pasta in pot and toss to coat. Stir in basil. Transfer pasta to plates.