Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

I think this might be my husband's new favorite pasta dish. I think he had fourths of this stuff, which though not very healthy, is a sure sign of it's deliciousness. And what a fun take on fettuccine alfredo! This again is another recipe I found on Pinterest, but I did change it to suite my family's tastes. I think I'll continue to mess with this recipe and perfect it over time, so stay tuned for updates on this one. But as is, it's still SO good.

Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

1 lb fettuccine
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Cajun blackening spice blend (I used Zatarans)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chicken broth or stock
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (mozzarella, asiago, parmesan)
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan (plus more for topping)
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped parsley, optional

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. **Important - scoop out 1 cup of pasta water before you drain the pasta and set it aside.** Drain and rinse with hot tap water to keep pasta from sticking. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pound each chicken breast until flat ( I like to pound my chicken in a ziplock bag for easy clean up). Sprinkle each breast on both sides with ample blackening spice, rubbing the spice in to adhere. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, get skillet very hot. Working batches place 2 seasoned chicken breasts in skillet (so as not to crowd the pan) and sear on one side until very browned, about 3 minutes. Flip chicken over and sear on other side for 1 minute. Place chicken on sprayed baking sheet. Add another tablespoon of butter to the hot pan and repeat searing with the remaining 2 chicken breasts. Place chicken on baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes, just until cooked through. Remove chicken and slice on the diagonal into strips. Cover with foil and set aside.

After chicken breasts go in the oven, start on the sauce in the same skillet. If needed add another tablespoon of olive oil and get the skillet nice and hot again. Pour chicken broth into skillet and whisk up all the lovely browned bits (flavor!). Add tomatoes and garlic and saute until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and pour in the heavy cream, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper to taste and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Continue to stir for 3 minutes, until cream has reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses, stirring constantly until cheeses melt. Add pasta and toss. Add the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce so it will coat the pasta. Add chicken and toss. Serve topped with parsley and Parmesan cheese if desired.

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