Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce

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We tried this thyme mint cream sauce from another recipe and loved it so much I decided to make it with chicken and pasta. Great flavor combination, and the kicker is that by the time the pasta water has come to a boil and the pasta is cooked, everything else is ready too, making for a filling, tasty midweek meal.

Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce Recipe

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  • Yield: Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, such as linguine or fettucini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1 Heat 4 quarts of salted* water in a large pot for the pasta. As the water heats, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken pieces, spreading them out initially and then not stirring them, so they have an opportunity to brown. Once lightly browned on one side, use tongs to flip the pieces over so they brown on the second side. When pieces are browned on both sides, and just cooked through, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

2 Deglaze the pan with white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and let liquids reduce by half (turn up the heat if necessary). Add the cream, mint, thyme, lemon zest, honey, salt, and vinegar. Reduce the sauce by half again.

3 Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook following directions on pasta package. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cream sauce when cream sauce has been reduced by half and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add chicken to the pasta and sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

* Use a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Some people wait until the water is boiling to add the salt. Makes little difference to me. Just make sure you get the salt in the pasta water or your pasta will be tasteless.

Serve immediately. Garnish with a little chopped fresh mint and thyme.

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Adapted from a fried chicken recipe by Chef Stephen Pyles, as reported in the Wall St. Journal, April 14, 2007.

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Showing 4 of 33 Comments

  • Jesica

    I just made this last night, and it was very good. The sauce was my favorite part, it does make a lot of food so we have a good bit of left overs.

  • Andrea

    Let me just say that I love this recipe. It is delicious and fairly quick to make. I’ve made it three times now. I’ve used water once instead of chicken stock (I didn’t have any) and it wasn’t too terrible, although the chicken stock certainly gives it more flavour. (I upped the amount of wine and used less water)

    The one issue that I had with this recipe was that it’s very thin. Maybe I am used to thicker recipes (I do love Alfredo!), so I made a slurry (I used 1/4 cup of ice cold water & 1/4 cup of flour) which solved the problem!

    Delicious! Thanks!

  • Shelah

    My boyfriend and I made this last night for our anniversary meal, and it was simply delicious. This was the first time using mint and I was skeptical about using it, but I was pleasantly surprised at the subtle flavor it added in the end. I could also really taste the thyme (maybe a bit too much, but that’s probably my fault since I wasn’t careful about measuring this), a hint of lemon, and a finish of honey. This was definitely a pasta I could savor and make again and again.
    Thank you so much for this recipe!

    As for slight changes, I did use the apple cider vinegar since I couldn’t locate the sherry vinegar, and it worked quite well.
    I didn’t use the full pound of fettuccine since I added little by little and noticed that it probably wouldn’t all get an adequate coating of the sauce.
    Dry vermouth works very well as the dry white wine.

  • Nikki

    Dear Elise, just made this tonight, dinner for two but EASILY for 4. The sauce was a bit thick on my side, I think I let it reduce a little too far. For variation I added some button brown mushrooms and used a little bit of some soaked mushrooms liquid when I first browned the chicken on the pan. It turned out so delicious! The mint I used from Mom’s herb garden was LEMON MINT but it wasn’t as strong as regular fresh mint. Perhaps I should try that next time. My friend loved it. :) Thanks so much! I love you. OMG I LOVE YOU ELISE. (I LOVE YOU.) xx

  • Kate

    I’ve made this 2-3x now & thought I should encourage anybody thinking about trying this recipe to DO IT!

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