Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Browned Butter Penne with Bacon, Chicken, and Squash

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So, I have this problem. It's called coffee. See, every day I am super hyper and jittery and ADD. And suddenly, the other day I was like, "hey, I wonder if this has anything to do with the sixty trillionish cups of coffee I have every day." So, I decided to switch to decaff.

Let's just say the first couple days weren't very pretty. I was pretty much just walking around like a half-dead zombie. But now, I really think I'm feeling much better.

But then today, my sister Piggie and I drove through Biggby's and I heard myself shouting into the microphone drive thru thingy, "Tall black coffee. That's a REGULAR BLACK COFFEE. Please."
And as soon as they handed it to me and I was like, "What what what??? Why are you handing me this beautiful, steaming cup of lifegiving nectar? PIGGIE, WHY DID YOU LET ME ORDER THIS?"
She turned around with chai foam all over her stupid face, "hmmmmm???"

You know, there really should be rehab for things like this.

But enough about coffee. Let's talk browned butter and bacon.

Browned Butter Penne with Bacon, Chicken, and Squash

About 10 pieces of uncooked bacon
1 cup of cooked chicken, chopped up (I used rotisserie)  
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced
1 smallish butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 pound pasta (I used mini penne)
1 stick butter
Feta cheese

Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Remove and pat dry. Get rid of all but about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease in the pan (leave just enough to cover your skillet). Add the squash, garlic, onion, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook on medium high heat, stirring often, until the squash is tender. Near the end, add the leaves from the thyme. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, put the butter in a small pot on the stove over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until foamy and lightly browned. Be careful not to burn it. Now put the chicken, bacon, squash, and pasta in a large bowl and pour the browned butter over them. Don't feel like you have to use all the butter if it looks like too much. Just put as much as you want. Toss to coat. Serve topped with feta cheese.

Now, please excuse me while I go crunch down a bag of coffee beans.
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