- 2 medium chicken breasts (about 12-14 ounces total)
- ¼ teaspoon each salt, black pepper, and dried oregano (or Italian seasoning)
For the chicken: (Note: You may cook the chicken according to a different method – sautéed and grilled chicken work well – or make use of leftover or rotisserie chicken.) Preheat the oven to 350℉ and place a long piece of parchment paper in front of you. Fold it in half like a book, creasing at the fold. (Eyeball a piece that is long enough to hold the chicken breasts, side by side, with extra room for crimping.)
Unfold the parchment and place the chicken on one side with a little space in between. Sprinkle the chicken all over with the salt, pepper, and oregano.
Fold the parchment paper back over. Then, starting at one end of the parchment, fold the edges over, working your way along all the sides until the packet is completely sealed.
Place the parchment packet on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before opening—be careful of the hot steam. When cool enough to handle, chop or slice. Prep-ahead tip: The chicken may be prepared in advance; refrigerate after cooling. It will stay fresh for about 5 days.
For the pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid before draining.
For the veggies: Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables of choice, and sauté until crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes. Peas will take a minute or two, so they can be added last. If using, add the garlic in the final 30 seconds. This will prevent it from burning. As an option, firmer vegetables like broccoli, green beans, and carrots may be added to the pasta water in the last 3-5 minutes of cooking, depending on how crisp or tender you like them.
Add the chicken broth to the veggies in the skillet and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the Boursin cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
Add the chicken and drained pasta to the skillet. Sprinkle the Parmesan over top and toss well. At this point, pour in enough of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. (Helpful hint: The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools, so it’s ok to make it just a little thinner than you ultimately want—and keep the rest to add to any leftovers.)
Serve: Top with an additional dusting of Parmesan cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, parsley, pepper, or a squeeze of lemon, if desired.
Instead of chicken, you could use cooked shrimp or crumbled bacon. For a meat-free variation, try adding chickpeas or shelled edamame.
Mix up the veggies: Green beans, cauliflower, carrots, snap peas, sweet peas, and spinach are just a handful of worthy alternatives. Halved cherry or grape tomatoes are a nice addition as well. When using, I like to stir them in at the end rather than cooking with the other vegetables. You could even stir in leftover roasted or grilled vegetables.
For gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan: Gluten-free pasta may be used, and Boursin has a vegan cheese. If seeking out a meat-free recipe, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and skip the chicken or substitute chickpeas or shelled edamame. For a meatless option with added staying power, you could try a legume-based pasta like Banza, which supplies more protein and fiber than traditional pastas and tastes much the same. Jovial and Barilla offer excellent, widely available, gluten-free pastas as well.