Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo With Broiled Chicken Breasts

Fettuccine Alfredo is one of those comfort foods I always try when I go to a new Italian restaurant. I love the Alfredo sauce and I’m a big pasta fan.
When I make it at home I usually grill the chicken, but this time I broiled the chicken because I ran out of gas for the grill. The chicken actually turned out juicier.
I just discovered why Parmigiano Reggiano is so expensive — apparently it literally comes from Italy. You can buy a block of Parmesan cheese instead (just make sure to get the kind that is hard to the touch).
Although I love this recipe, I only make it a couple times a year, because it’s so rich with the heavy cream, butter and cheese that I’d feel guilty if I ate it more often than that. (Not to mention I’d never hear the end of it from mom, telling me how many calories it has in it.)
I love the garlic in the sauce, and it adds just the right kick, but don’t go overboard. It can quickly overpower the flavor.

Ingredients: (makes 3 to 4 servings)
17 oz package Fettuccine Pasta
1 pound boneless chicken breast

Chicken Marinade:
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs white cooking wine
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
juice of one lime
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt

Alfredo Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Parmesan cheese
2 medium garlic cloves smashed
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/3 tsp black pepper

Start by combining all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl, and whisk vigorously until combined. (This has a tendency to separate otherwise.)
Dump the chicken into a ziplock bag then pour in the marinade. Seal and remove as much of the air as possible. Work it with your hands for a few minutes and then set it in the fridge for at least 1 hour before use.
Bake the chicken for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, then switch to broiling the chicken on both sides until it turns golden. While the chicken is baking, start the sauce.
Start by adding the butter to a saucepan on medium-low heat. Once the butter is completely melted, add the garlic. Whisk the garlic for about 30 seconds or so; you don't want to give the butter time to turn brown. Add the cream and whisk together with the butter. Once it’s heated all the way through, add the salt, white pepper and black pepper. While whisking rapidly, start adding 1 cup of the cheese, a pinch at a time, while working it into the sauce. If you add too much, it might clump up. Once the cheese has been fully incorporated into the sauce, stir for a minute or so, cover and remove from the heat.
When the chicken is done, remove and cut into chunks or strips to be used as a topping for the Fettuccine Alfredo.
Add the pasta to about 4 quarts of water and cook according to the instructions, about 10 to 12 minutes.
Once it’s cooked al dente, drain and immediately return to the pot, ladle some of the sauce into the pasta and stir until its well coated. (Keep a bit of the sauce for the presentation.)

Ladle a large portion on a plate or bowl. Lay several pieces of chicken on top. Sprinkle a bit of the sauce on top of the chicken, then sprinkle some more of the cheese on top.

Prepared on 2011-05-18 (Tulsa, OK), Photographs by Michael Findley


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  2. Oh my goodness!! That looks absolutely decadent, divine, and deeelicious! I am a big fan of parmigiano reggiano. Did you know that you can use the rind of this cheese to flavor soups, especially minestrone? There are some stores that will even sell you just the rind. I can't wait to make this recipe.

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