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Linguine with a cold sauce of poached chicken, tomatoes and basil

Recipe from: 1 October 2010

Ingredients 26
Servings 6
Time 1 hour


  • Chicken:
  • 6
    large deboned, skinned chicken breasts
  • Boiling water to cover chicken
  • 2
    bay leaves
  • 1/2
    onion, thickly sliced
  • 3
    whole cloves
  • A few peppercorns
  • 1
    carrot, roughly chopped
  • Few stalks of parsley
  • 1
    slice of lemon
  • Sauce:
  • 6
    big sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
  • 6
    big sprigs of fresh basil
  • 600
    ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4
    spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2
    cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 80
    fruity olive oil
  • 2
    white wine vinegar
  • 1
    Tabasco sauce
  • 1
  • 1
    white sugar
  • Plenty of milled black pepper
  • To serve:
  • 1
    Packet of linguine or spaghetti
  • Extra olive oil
  • Crumbled peppered feta cheese [optional]


40 mins
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and put them in a single layer in a ceramic baking dish (don't pack them tightly). Add the bay leaves, onion, cloves, carrot, parsley and lemon slice, and pour over enough boiling water to just cover the breasts (about 500 ml).
Place, uncovered, in the hot oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and poke a hole into the thickest end of a breast: it should be just cooked.
If there's any trace of pinkness, place the dish back in the oven for another few minutes.
Cover with clingfilm and allow the breasts to cool completely.
Now make the sauce.
Strip the leaves from half the parsley and basil sprigs and chop roughly (reserve the remaining sprigs). 
Place in a mixing bowl and add the tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, Tabasco, salt, pepper and sugar.
Toss well to combine.
 Remove the chicken from its poaching liquid and, using your fingers, tear into pieces. Add the chicken to the bowl.
Now measure out 80 ml of the cool poaching liquid and add it to the bowl.
Season generously with black pepper and toss again to combine.
Cover the bowl and set aside in a cool place, or in the fridge, for 30 minutes to allow the dressing to soak into the chicken. 
Cook the linguine in plenty of salted boiling water until just al dente
Drain the pasta and tip it into a large platter.
Chop the remaining basil and parsley and add it to the sauce.
Toss again, then pile the cold sauce on top of the hot pasta.
Crumble the feta over the pasta, and drizzle with more olive oil.
Serve immediately.

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Read more on: poach  |  poultry  |  bake  |  grill

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