Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken & Zucchini Pesto Pasta

My daughter Sierra has been in charge of one dinner a week for the last several weeks. She is enjoying this quite a bit. I have a good time just watching her creativity bloom in the food arena. Her recipe choices and cooking practice is showing me she is on her way to being quite a chef!! :)

This week she chose Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken and Zucchini Pesto Pasta. She had to make a few changes to the chicken recipe. The original recipe (which can be found here:  ) called for 12 oz of chicken. There was no way that amount would feed our family. Three pounds is more like it! The original recipe also called for frying the chicken until it was fully cooked. Since she was doing so much more chicken she decided to just brown it well and then bake it to finish the cooking time. She also used skinless boneless thigh fillets instead breast meat.

She began by chopping up a LOT of garlic. We love garlic and I’m pretty sure she must have chopped up 15 to 20 cloves.

She then melted butter (about 2 tablespoons for each batch) and added some of the garlic and let this cook for a minute or so. Then put her chicken pieces in the frying pan. She browned them well, flipped them over and browned the other side. Then transferred them onto a tray. She repeated the process until all the chicken had been browned.

She baked the chicken at 350 for about 15 minutes (until fully cooked). She pulled the chicken out of the oven and turned the oven off. Then using a fork she sprinkled brown sugar on top of the chicken and rubbed it on a bit. Then put the whole tray back in the still warm oven and waited a few minutes until the sugar had melted.

And that was it!!

Then she started making the Zucchini Pesto Pasta. Frist she made the pesto sauce. She followed this recipe here:  omitting the pine nuts (at $13 a pound it was a bit too steep for our budget! :)..

She was loosely following this recipe:  She heated up the olive oil, added the garlic and then the zucchini. When the zucchini had cooked until soft (but not mushy) she added her pesto sauce (the recipe called for 2/3 cup pesto, the recipe she made was 1 cup and she added it all)…

While she was doing this she had 12oz of organic brown rice spaghetti noodles cooking. When they were done she drained and rinsed them and added it to her zucchini pesto combo…

The meal was amazing!! Very delicious!


  1. It looks delicious. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. That looks really good!

  3. Perfect timing! After reading this post I made something similar from our CSA share vegetables. Pine nuts are too expensive for me as well so I used the nuts I had on hand - pecans. I also through a bunch of leftover cheese in there: goat cheese and creme fraiche. Turned out great! Thanks!

  4. hopping over from Goose Hill Farm...

    Wow! That DOES look delicious! I love pasta, and I also love chicken. It looks easy enough even for me to make.

    :) Hope


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