Feb 19, 2021

Chicken and Shrimp Tagliatelle in Creamy Saffron Sauce

Happy Lunar New Year! Saying goodbye to mouse, this time, it's the year of the ox. Even though I'm not posting fancy Chinese meal that echoes the holiday, how about something fancy western-wise? I'm going to use saffron, one of the most expensive spices in the world in this pasta recipe. Saffron has this distinct hay-like note that I absolutely adore, and it's quite aromatic. This recipe only calls for 0.2 gram of saffron threads, and the whole pasta was infused with such pleasing note. I would love to use 0.5 grams if I have enough stock at home though. Wanna guess how much my tiny bit 0.2 gram organic saffron threads cost? I'll announce the answer in the end of this recipe.

Chicken and shrimp tagliatelle in creamy saffron sauce -

Ingredients (about 5 portions)?

  • 1 pack/500 grams tagliatelle
  • 0.2 gram/0.007 oz saffron threads
  • 350 grams chicken breast
  • 150 grams shrimps (peeled/deveined)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove 
  • 200ml heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated aged Parmigiano-Reggiano 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Some salt
  • Some black pepper
  • Some flat leaf parsley


Look at this tiny pack of costly saffron threads.

Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic clove. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley. Grate the cheese. Peel and devein the shrimps. 

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add in few pinches of salt and cook the pasta till nearly al dente. Once ready, drain and set aside for later use.

Season chicken breasts with some salt and black pepper on both sides. 

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a big pan or a Dutch oven, turn to medium high heat. Once the surface warms up, transfer chicken over and sear till both sides turn slightly colored.

Don't move the chicken too soon, let it sear for a little while before flipping to the other side. It can better prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom. Once done searing, remove the chicken and let it cool off. Slice into large bite size pieces. Set aside for later use.

Use the same pan or the same Dutch oven, still under medium high heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter along with onion, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Give it a quick stir once a while. Sear till the onion turns translucent.

Add in garlic and shrimps, cook about 30 seconds.

Pour in heavy whipping cream and wine. Also add in saffron threads. Lower the heat a little if the mixture starts to boil. Cook for about 1 minute.

Add in lemon juice and about 1/4 cup grated cheese. Also add the chicken back to the mixture along with 1 more teaspoon of salt. Cook for another minute or so.

Mix in pasta and toss till fully combined with the sauce. Taste and see if more seasonings are needed. Cook till pasta reaches al dente texture. Plate and garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley. Also sprinkle some of the remaining grated cheese throughout right before serving.

Remember to use "aged" Parmigiano-Reggiano, the aroma can be significantly better and brings more depth compared to the pre-grated tubed variety sold at a much cheaper price. I used 60-months aged Parmigiano-Reggiano here.

So back to the price of my tiny bit 0.2 gram/0.007 oz organic saffron. It was about $9! Not even one gram and sold for $9, but I would repurchase over and over again though. I'm truly a sucker for saffron.

Other pasta recipes:

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