How hot do you like it? How much heat can you withstand? Put yourself to the test with the new Chicken and Penne Arrabiata at Bella Luna Restaurant in Jamaica Plain.
Executive Chef Jacob Zachow has always been a lover of spicy food and has always wanted to issue a challenge to others to see if they can truly take the heat! “Anyone can make a dish that is painfully hot….but to make a dish that balances all the flavors in a recipe and delivers a high level of heat is truly a challenge!”
Chef Zachow feels he has met that challenge with his new Chicken and Penne Arrabiata with Honey Roasted Habanero and Fresh Parmesan. The dish is not on Bella Luna’s menu and is only available by asking for it when dining. So it is a bit of an insider secret.
“This dish is not for the faint of heart and I extend the challenge to any and all people who say they like spicy food to give this dish a try.” said Zachow. If you’re seeking the kitschy name of this dish look no further than in the mirror. Each time a diner completes the highest level of heat the dish will be aptly named after them until the new record is bumped off by the next brave soul. Bring your cast iron stomach and ask for the dish in one of the three levels of increasing heat:
1. Beyond the Moon;
2. The Solar System; and the ever dreaded
3. Out of this World!
As a bonus, here is the Recipe:
Chicken and Penne Arrabiata (Serves: 4)
Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
1 Medium Onion, Small Dice
5 Cloves of Garlic, Fine Chopped
¼ lb. Pancetta, Sliced Thin and Diced
¾ lb. Chicken Breast, Cut into 1 inch Cubes
2 T. Fresh Basil, Chopped
2 T. Italian Parsley, Chopped
3 T. Butter, Cubed
1 T. Honey
3 T. Olive Oil
¾ Cup White Wine
¾ Cup Chicken Stock
4 T. Flour
5 T, Fresh Parmesan, Shaved
¾ lb Penne Pasta, Cooked
Fresh Cracked Pepper
Step 1: Cooking Pasta and Roasting Habanero
1. Begin by filling a medium sized sauce pot ¾ of the way with water and adding 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Place over medium high heat and bring water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes until pasta is al dente.
2. Next preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl add your honey and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss habanero in this mixture and put on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 Minutes or until a rich golden brown color is achieved.
Step 2: Preparing and Assembling Ingredients
1. Next you want to assemble all your remaining ingredients in the following order. This will help you follow the flow of preparation. First line up your butter and remaining olive oil followed by pancetta, onions, garlic, diced chicken and flour. Reserve basil and parsley for the end.
2. Next remove the stem from your roasted habanero being very careful preferably using gloves at this stage as the heat can be intense. Run habanero briefly under water rinsing away seeds, then pat dry with a paper town. Next chop habanero briefly and place next to your chicken. Wash hands thoroughly at this stage.
Step 3: Cooking and Presentation
1. Begin by placing a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Let pan heat up for about 3 minutes. Next add butter and olive oil and wait for it to melt down. Now add pancetta, onions and garlic and let these ingredients develop color for about 8 minutes. Next add chicken, habanero and flour and continue to cook until chicken is golden brown.
2. At this stage, deglaze the pan with white wine and chicken stock. Now add the fresh basil and parsley and continue to cook until chicken is cooked and the sauce cooks down about half way. Finish by seasoning with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
3. For presentation, toss penne pasta and fresh shaved parmesan in the sauté pan. Divide pasta between four large pasta bowls and garnish with more fresh parmesan and chopped parsley.
Bella Luna Restaurant
403-405 Centre St.,
Jamaica Plain, MA