Carmelas Chicken Pasta (better known as ‘chicken foot pasta’ around here) updated

Chicken Feet Pasta (or Carmelas Chicken Rigatoni)


This is not cooked with chicken feet! Do not run out and get chicken feet yet! 

Yes, there is a story behind this wonderful, creamy dish’s new name, and if you were there, you will never forget it. Let me explain.

We had just haggled at the feed store for 2 golden hens. Their owners had raised them from chicks, in their apartment! They had decided the girls really needed more than a patio to roam on and had brought them to the feed store to trade for a duck. Yes, a duck. Because ducks don’t need a yard to roam in and a pond to swim in, do they? (What were they thinking?)


My older son had come with me, since he is the chicken expert of us all, to the feed store to see if they had any hens for sale. We ended up buying a couple of banties, not exactly what we were looking for but…

Then we saw this couple coming in with a big box of something clucking. We stopped them at the door to admire their hens, young ones too, not quite laying yet, big, beautiful and just what we were looking for. The feed store owner came out and all 5 of us haggled a bit until we all got what we wanted. The hens came home with us, as well as the banties. So,

Goldie and Yenta
Goldie and Yenta

Fast forward to the next evening. We were having guests for dinner and since it was a warm summer day, we were eating out on the patio. I “slaved” over the stove to make this Carmelas Chicken Rigatoni with Cassies help, and  we had a tossed green salad and garlic bread. We served everyone a pasta bowl of creamy, noodle goodness, and put the rest in a serving dish in the center of the table, then all sat down, with a satisfied sigh, and said grace. 

Suddenly everyone was laughing at hubby, sitting at the head of the table. There was a golden hen sitting on his chair back, peeking over his shoulder. We had forgot to put the chickens in their pens and they were coming by to see what we were up to. Curious little buggers. We were not used to such boldness in a hen, they usually ran from you, minding their own chicken business. But, I forget, these two had been hand raised. So while we are all chuckling at Goldie over here, our attention diverted, Yenta, her sister, suddenly came from out of no where, and jumped right up into Phils pasta bowl full of food! I went from amused to angry while everyone else howled with laughter, until the frightened hen suddenly jumped from there into the serving bowl full of all the rest of the pasta!! Cassie and I were horrified! The chicken was virtually dancing in the pasta! It all happened so quickly, like most accidents do. There was screaming, laughing, shouting, waving. Phil quickly lifted the raptor/hen out of the food and we chased them both back to the pens. In the meantime, Phils food was ruined and there was no more available to give him.

In the end, we got him a clean plate and each of us gave up some of our pasta for him. We go over the whole thing every time we have this dish, which we have renamed, “chicken foot pasta”.

 Now for the recipe:

You will need:

  • 2 Tbsp butter, plus 2Tbsp Olive oil
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 12 oz. grilled chicken, diced
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 6 oz. caramelized onions (*see below)
  • 6 oz. Marsala wine
  • 20 oz. cream (!)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. pasta, I used rigatoni. penne would be good
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Start the water to boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to directions.

Here we are boiling pasta on aunties induction cooktop.
Here we are boiling pasta on aunties induction cooktop.

First to caramelize the onions. Slice the onions, about 1 med. size one, into rings. Put them into a skillet with about 1 Tbsp butter and saute 10 minutes on low heat. Add 1 tsp sugar and continue to saute about 20 minutes on medium low heat. Add mushrooms when the onions are almost done.

IMG_3164 (1024x765)

When they are soft and brown they are done.

IMG_3165 (1024x765)

Add the diced chicken, the basil, the salt and pepper and saute 1-2 minutes.

Add the wine and saute another minute.

IMG_3167 (1024x765)

Add the cream and bring to a simmer.

IMG_3168 (1024x765)

Take off the heat, mix the  pasta and cream sauce together until thoroughly mixed and top with the grated Parmesan. Maybe a sprinkle slivers of more basil or parsley for color.

I, again, almost forgot to get a picture of the plated food. This is what was left in the serving bowl, just before we cleaned up and I had that "oh-oh" moment and grabbed the camera phone.
I, again, almost forgot to get a picture of the plated food. This is what was left in the serving bowl, just before we cleaned up and I had that “oh-oh” moment and grabbed the camera phone. It is no longer warm and gooey, but trust me when I say this is a fabulous and quick dish.


Another pot full on another day…chicken feet pasta


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