Servings: 4 Prep: 20 min Cook: 15 mins Total: 35 mins
A little while back, I was sent a huge number of links to a video with Rocco DiSpirito on a Rachel Ray show. He’d apparently invented something akin to the cure for cancer or … time travel. He’d come up with a way to make pasta … out of chicken! (cue the dramatic music!)
The big question repeatedly sent to me was … “WHA?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?!”
To decode that inquisitive exclamation, people wanted to know if that was possible. Could pasta really be made out of chicken? When I saw the video, I was intrigued! I knew what it was and what was happening, and definitely agreed that it was clever, but … how would it taste?
First of all, let’s take a look at the original video:
What we have here is a chicken emulsion. I’m a big fan of emulsions and use them regularly, as seen in this Crab Cake Recipe, or this Béarnaise Sauce. It’s actually not entirely unlike a very long and thin chicken sausage. Imagine a hot dog, but much much thinner, much much longer and without a casing to hold it all together. That is essentially what this “pasta” is! A really really really really long chicken weiner!
At first, I was a bit skeptical. I knew it would work, but often times these kinds of recipes only really work under a series of magical circumstances (like being on a big sound stage in front of a live studio audience). Whatever was in that squirt bottle had been tested and tweaked and tested again. I would’ve been FAR more impressed had they used the stuff they actually blended onstage. However, there is a recipe on the page, so … I tried it. IT WORKED!
Take a look at the world’s worst YouTube video. I never meant for this video to be recorded, but … as I was swirling the squirt bottle in spirals, an iPhone was pointed at me … and the following footage was recorded:
As I said … worst video, evah! (it’s a start, though … I can really only go UP from here!)
The proof, as they say, is in the weird chicken emulsion. It does work! It makes long strands of noodle-like pasta-y stuff! How does it taste? (cue the dramatic music!)
It kind of tastes like a cross between something related to a chicken sausage, somehow, and … a Styrofoam cup. Sure, it’s long noodles and is a bit deceptive to the eyes, but … IT AIN’T PASTA. It may look like a pasta and quack like a pasta, but … it ain’t a pasta. However … it wasn’t totally awful, either. I did my best to turn it into something kind of light and springy. The end result was kind of cool! It was an interesting dish, in that these are ingredients that would taste awesome over a chicken scallopini, for example. In fact, that’s sort of what it is, except that … the chicken looks like pasta. In the end, I was quite pleased with it. It looked good and tasted great, but … the next time I’m craving pasta … it won’t be a craving for this, sad-to-say.
Notey Notes: The little hole in my squirt bottle was a bit too large. A smaller hole would’ve produced thinner strands, which likely would’ve given a better mouth feel. Also, there is a reason they were looking for the blender stick in the original video. The stuff is like sticky glue and you need to keep pushing it into the blades to get it silky smooth. I have an old beat up blender I picked up at a garage sale. New, it was probably worth about $5.99. Let’s just say that this concoction put my blender to a smokey test. It worked, but my blender was none too thrilled with me! Finally, I recommend drying the noodles on a paper towel before tossing into a sauce. They aren’t terribly flavorful. So, any extra water you might be throwing in will only just dilute things further. Finally, I think that adding a small amount of raw bacon (about 1 oz), in place of 1 oz of chicken, will do wonders for this pasta! It will add a bit of fat and give it a bit more salt and character. Plus … it’s BACON!!!
Chicken Noodles with Asparagus, Artichokes and Pine NutsPrint Rate
- 3/4 cup ice cubes
- 3 tbsp egg white powder
- 6 oz skinless chicken breast chilled and cubed
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1/2 cup fresh whole butter cut into about 12 cubes and divided
- 4 each garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bunch asparagus cut into thin rings
- 3 whole artichoke hearts in oil drained and cut into 8 wedges, each
- 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 tbsp capers drained and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1/4 cup parmesan (reggiano) cheese grated
- 16 leaves fresh basil hand torn
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, well seasoned with salt.
- In a small sauce pan, bring some chicken stock up to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and place on a burner out of the way. Our goal is to reduce this stock by about 75% (resulting in about 1/2 cup of super reduced chicken stock).
- In a blender, puree the egg white powder and ice, until the powder has dissolved. Add the chicken and puree until the mixture is smooth and consistent. Place the chicken batter into a squeeze bottle and place in the refrigerator. Keep this mixture chilled until time to cook it.
- Fetch a bowl of ice water and set nearby.
- Holding your finger over the hole of the squirt bottle, swing the bottle in the air to push as much of the batter towards the tip of the bottle, as is possible. Holding the tip over the water, with even pressure, squeeze a thin and consistent stream of chicken into the boiling water, while moving in a circular fashion. This will create a long thin ribbon or ... "noodle". Once you're happy with the length of the noodle, or it snaps naturally, allow it to simmer for about 1 minute. It cooks quickly! Remove and place into the ice water. Repeat this process until all the chicken is cooked!
- Once all the noodles have been cooked and chilled, drain and place on a towel to dry completely.
- Place a large sauté pan on the stove over high heat. Place about 2 of the butter cubes into the hot pan with the garlic and sauté until the garlic is aromatic and JUST begins to turn golden.
- Add the asparagus to the pan with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat with butter and garlic.
- After about 1 minute, add the artichoke, pine nuts, capers, and chili flakes. Sauté for about 1 minute.
- Add the reduced chicken stock to the pan and toss to coat the ingredients. Add a cube of butter and keep mixing the ingredients. Once you add the butter, the pan needs to keep moving to help the better melt and thicken the sauce, rather than melting and creating an oil slick on top. Moving the butter around will emulsify it into the chicken stock, thickening it, enriching it and giving it a bit of a sheen. Continue this process, adding one cube of butter at a time. When the previous cube is about half melted, add another cube. Continue this process until all the butter is absorbed into the sauce.
- Add the pasta and toss in the toss to coat.
- Season with a bit of salt and pepper and then give one final toss with leaves of fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.
- Divide between 4 plates or pasta bowls and serve!
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19 thoughts on “Chicken Noodles with Asparagus, Artichokes and Pine Nuts”
Great idea! The noodles might taste better if they were seasoned. How about a little fish sauce or sea salt in the mix?
Maybe stir frying them and using them as a chinese dish would be better since so much flavor would be added. I may have to try it.
I do think there are some really fun ideas that can be utilized with these noodles. They weren’t "bad" … I was just hoping to be more wow’d than I was. Seasoning them more, adding maybe a bit more fat, perhaps a different sauce, etc. All of these things could be used to build something more fun and flavorful. My primary goal was just to see if it would work. It did!
I have to say- I made these..and they were…icky. Just didn’t care for them at all. Texture was gross- taste was bland- even though I did add some fresh herbs and even tossed in pesto. Just my opinion, but myself and the whole fam couldn’t eat them. 🙁
Hi Unknown. I didn’t love them either. I think they were fine. I love the idea and think it would be possible to turn the idea into something really delicious, but as is the texture is kind of like Styrofoam and the taste is, I agree … bland. No BAD. I’d still eat it, but there are definitely better things out there. I maintain it’s a fun idea, though. This is more like the results of a science experiment. It’s interesting, but … I don’t know I’d want to eat it! 😉
I have made these. I agree with you completely. Yes, they are noodle shaped, but that’s where the similarities stop. I ended up using what was leftover (a whole squeezey bottle of the stuff) as a kind of base for something in the future, maybe a pizza base? I squeezed it out onto a greased cookie sheet, spread it as thin as possible, and it became a wrap or a weird pizza crust. Im sure theres something good in this recipe, somewhere, I just haven’t found the application of it that I like yet.
Ruth, someday when I’ve got some free time, I might tinker with it more. I do think it’s a cool idea, but … I think most that have tried it agree that it leaves something to be desired. If you DO ever come up with a great use for it, or a tweak that improves it … please report back! 🙂
This may seem like a really lame question, but is the chicken raw or cooked? You don’t say. After reading all the comments it appears it really does need to be spiced and seasoned much more than it is. Thanks!
Hi Lin, sorry about that. The chicken is raw. Regarding the seasoning, I do agree there are tricks that can help. I just fear doing too much to change the base recipe, for fear that it’ll disintegrate. There are some fun seasoning ideas within the comments that I feel will add up to a FAR better taste sensation. Even basic it’s still ok and an interesting idea, it’s just not AMAZING.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I think if you used a pastry bag with a smallor medium tip on it, it would work better and you wouldn’t have to worry about air holes. I use a pastry bag for all kindsof things in the kitchen and I’ve never decorated a cake. I also use it to fill my deviled eggs, they just look so much prettier and I have more control over how much I put into each egg half.
Yvette, I like the idea, but … my fear would be the strength of the pastry bag. The chicken batter is pretty thick and most homestyle pastry bags may not be durable enough to work. Just a thought. Worth a try, though. Thanks for the thought!
I have to say I really loved this recipe. I thought it was delicious and fun if you don’t mind a little labor intensive. The noodles are a little tricky to get consistent, but I did like the flavor and texture. I fed it to guests and they loved it as well. Thanks for all the great recipes!
I’m glad to hear it, Carolyn. I do think there’s some fun to be had here and it’s certainly an interesting idea. I’m sure I’ll play with it more, in the future! Thanks for reporting back! 🙂
Used chicken stock to boil the noodle instead of plain water, added a lot of flavor.
Thanks, Pat. I’ll bet! I keep meaning to get back to this one and tinker with it. I KNOW there are some fun directions to take this. It’s just a matter of spending some time with it. Thanks for the info!
Hi DJ, the recipe for the noodles sounds like a version of a "farce" recipe. Traditionally you would make a chicken farce with slightly frozen chicken breast, cream, maybe some brown butter as well as adequate seasoning. In slightly boiling water it will make quite nice dumplings or you can even fry them up in a pan with some butter, not to mention terrines etc. I’m sure a farce recipe would give a much better taste experience, not sure though if it will hold up as a noodle… what do you think?
Maybe I can have chicken noodle soup after all!
Karin, I’m really not sure. We’d have to try! My immediate thought is that the powdered egg whites play a big role. It’s like protein glue, without all the water. I suspect this goes a great distance towards holding it all together. Without that, I fear it would just disintegrate. That said … I truly have no idea. Interesting thought!
Late to the party, but just so you know, your video is blocked – why you would have your own video on your own website blocked is beyond me. Thanks for the recipe, though.
This video contains content from UMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.” (I’m in the USA.)