There's a local restaurant where I live in Fredericton that makes an out of this world pasta dish - I'd say it's their signature plate. Brewbakers is the first place I tried a Maple Curry Chicken Penne and absolutely fell in love.
The first time I tried it was a few weeks before I moved to Fredericton in 2018. I went back to my parents house that day and tried to make it at home.. and honestly it was pretty gross. Since almost perfectly recreating another local favourite, Number One Noodle's Yellow Thai Curry, I've discovered that curry paste makes ALL the difference. We don't play with curry powder in this household.
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Ingredients matter - choose the best
I believe that it's important to choose the best ingredients you have access to always (budget allowing)! This is especially true when you're making a dish that is made with whole foods and has a few core ingredients that really shine.
The most important "splurge" you can make is buying a great curry paste. Although not expensive, it's something not everyone has in their house but I wholeheartedly recommend the Mae Ploy brand of curry paste. For this recipe, I use their yellow curry paste.
The only other product I'm sort of a snob over is Maple Syrup. I work part time for Wabanaki Maple, another amazing local New Brunswick brand, and I do recommend that you use their maple syrup - if you don't have access to it just please use real maple syrup. None of this corn syrup stuff. This is a dish to honour maple as a star ingredient.
If you're making homemade pasta:
Although I have a pasta maker and pasta extruder, sometimes you can't be bothered to make fresh pasta (though it will yield the best results)! Store-bought penne will do the job, but look for the best quality that you can find. Ideally, make your penne from scratch, or buy fresh pasta in the refrigerator section of your grocery store.
My go-to pasta recipe is from a super random cookbook that was given to me by my parents. I've never heard anyone talk about it, but they make a great pasta dough! The recipe from 50 Perfect Pasta Dishes by Maxine Clarke is tried and true in my house and is super no-fuss and simple. The Basic Pasta Dough recipe is as follows:
- 200g All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Eggs (size 2)
- 15 ml Olive Oil
- A pinch of Salt
- Sift the flour and salt onto a clean fork surface and make a well in the center with your fist.
- Pour the beaten eggs and oil into the well. Gradually mix the eggs into the flour with the fingers of one hand.
- Knead the pasta until smooth, wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before attempting to roll out. The pasta will be much more elastic after resting.
Substitutions and Modifications
Yes! This dish is technically a substitute from the original because I will not, under any circumstance, eat bell peppers. I opt for carrots and/or mushrooms. If you like bell peppers, these apparently are delicious in this!
I'm sure you could but it would be so far different from the original dish that I don't think it would be worth it. You can buy a keto friendly maple syrup (Walden Farms) but it's more of a table syrup and won't have the same flavour. You can make it lower carb by using something like spaghetti squash but just keep in mind that the texture is different entirely as this uses a penne.
Yes! If you substitute the cream for coconut cream (great for dairy-free, too) the sauce is friendly for people who eat plant based. For the chicken, replace it with your favourite plant-based alternative or leave it out altogether. I recommend chickpeas or just adding more mushrooms.
It's definitely a rich dish by nature - if you prefer something a little bit more fresh, substitute half of the cream with a good quality chicken broth (ideally homemade).
You want your chicken thin so it cooks fully. Here is an idea of the size the chicken should be:
If you loved this dish, be sure to try some of my other copycat recipes!
- Roy Choi's French Onion Soup
- Subway's Italian Herb and Cheese Bread
- Number One Noodle's Yellow Thai Curry
- Taylor Farms Dill Pickle Salad
- Subway's Sweet Onion Sauce
Did you make this recipe?
Be sure to leave a review and tell me how it turned out! I'm always open to feedback and love hearing ways I can make my content more user friendly! If you took a picture, be sure to tag me on Instagram to be featured!
Want some other recipes inspired by local restaurants? Check these out!
- Tuscan Harvest Salad (Gusto, Moncton)
- Dave Matthews Drink (The Capitol Complex, Fredericton)
- Sweet Yellow Thai Curry (Number One Noodle, Fredericton)
- Butternut Squash Soup (540 Kitchen and Bar, Fredericton)
Maple Curry Chicken Penne
- Deep Pan
- 500 grams Penne Pasta dry (about 1 box)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- ½ Onion, large chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 8 Cremini Mushrooms sliced
- ¼ cup Yellow Curry Paste
- ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 Chicken Breasts boneless, skinless
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Spinach
- Salt to taste
- Parsley for garnish, optional
- Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package for al dente - make sure your pasta water is salted. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta. Set both aside.
- Slice your chicken into very thin bite sized pieces. Set aside *For an idea of size, look at the image in the post, you want the chicken thin.
- In a large pan, heat up the olive oil and butter over medium heat until melted and slightly frothy. Add in the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Next, add in the mushrooms and garlic and saute until the mushrooms are wilted, another 3-5 minutes.
- To the pan, add in the curry paste and mix well until it's slightly melted and incorporated with the vegetables. Once combined, add in the cream, maple syrup, ½ cup of reserved pasta water and thinly sliced chicken breasts.
- Simmer the sauce over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add in the spinach and contine to simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked to 165 degrees C and the sauce is thickened to your liking.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning and add the rest of your reserved pasta water to the sauce to thicken as needed. You will need more/less depending on your preferred sauce thickness.
- Once the sauce is done, add the cooked penne noodles into the pot and stir to combine.
- Serve with a side salad and garlic bread and optionally topped with parsley.