Chicken Linguine with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms
2 Yellow Onions
1 Tbl Olive Oil
3 Chicken Breasts
3 4 oz. cans of mushrooms, drained (I am sure fresh would be better, but I did my shopping last week and I didn't want the mushrooms to get slimy....blech!)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
4-5 cups whole milk
2 tsp basil (again, I am sure fresh would be much better, but I didn't know if it would keep)
1 lb. linguine (they used rigatoni, but I prefer the "noodle" pasta)
Salt and Pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. The key to caramelizing onions is having a VERY hot pan and time. Lots of time. While the pan is heating, peel, quarter, and thinly slice the onions. Once the pan is hot, saute the onions until they turn a nice caramely color. Don't burn of course, just make sure to stir the onions every few minutes. Mine took close to 30 minutes to caramelize....it seems like they won't ever start to caramelize, but be patient, they will!
Once the onions are finished, put them in bowl and set aside. Using the same pan, grill the chicken until internal temp is 165 degrees or until the middle is no longer pink. I like to let the chicken brown on each side on about medium heat, stick my thermometer (like this one--thanks Mom!) in the chicken, set the thermometer to 165 degrees, and cover the pan. When is reaches 165, it beeps to let you know its done. Pretty simple. Plus you won't catch any food borne illness from improperly cooked foods. And that's always nice.
Once the chicken is done, set on a cutting board and let it sit for a few minutes. You don't want to slice it when it's super hot, otherwise all the juices will run out. As it cools, it will help retain those juices when you slice into it.
As the chicken is cooling, place the butter in the pan over medium heat. This will also help the onion and chicken flavor de-glaze the pan. Add the flour. This is what cooks call a roux. Let this brown up a bit, as this helps cook the flour flavor out. Add your milk and stir the roux with the milk. This will thicken as it heats and can take several minutes. Add the basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare your pasta according to package directions. You can cook it just a little shy of being done, as it will absorb some of the moisture from the cream sauce. Drain your pasta and add your cream sauce, onions, chicken, and mushrooms. Let it heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.