Notes: The poached chicken can be made 1 day ahead, refrigerated, and kept in broth until needed. Reheat gently in broth before serving. This pasta dish is great served warm or at room temperature.
- 20 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast, trimmed of visible fat (about 3 breasts)
- 1 quart homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup lightly packed basil leaves, torn
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound rigatoni or other sturdy tubular pasta
- 1 quart cherry tomatoes, halved
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, rough chopped
Place chicken breasts in saucepan with chicken broth, basil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, peppercorns, and zest. If needed, add water to just cover chicken. Heat over medium heat until broth comes to simmer. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until chicken reads 155°F on instant read thermometer, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place chicken on cutting board and when cool enough to handle, use 2 forks to shred chicken into chunky bite size pieces. Return chicken to broth off heat until ready to use.
In medium bowl, slowly whisk olive oil into balsamic vinegar until combined. Add red pepper flakes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain. Using slotted spoon, remove chicken from broth. Reserve broth for another use.
Return pasta to pot and toss with chicken, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
instant read thermometer