Friday, October 19, 2007

I Didn't Say it Was Good FOR You, I Just Said it Was GOOD

This recipe is OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS, and when you see the ingredient list, you'll know why. Please don't anyone forward this link to my cardiogist.

Chicken Alfredo

3 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch wide strips
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pt. heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 c. grated Parmesan
1 lb. Fettucini pasta, freshly cooked
2 c. frozen baby peas, defrosted, or 4 c. broccoli florets, lightly blanched

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a heavy, large Dutch oven over med-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, saute chicken strips until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Or if it's 5:03pm and you realize your husband is going to be home in less than 12 minutes and you forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer, then you may have to cook it slightly longer than 4 minutes. Because a mere 4 minutes at that point is just going to get the ice melting. But whatever you do, DON'T TRY TO DEFROST THE CHICKEN IN THE MICROWAVE IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE TIME. No one wants to admit this to Whirlpool, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, or any other microwave manufacturer, but chicken that has been defrosted in the microwave tastes A-W-F-U-L. Don't be ashamed. It's not you. It's the whole defrosting process. Your buddy, the microwave, defrosts chicken unevenly so that some parts start to cook and become rubbery while other parts remain completely frozen. And then there is really no cooking method or flavor that can possibly over come it because not only can rubbery chicken not brown no matter how much fat you fry it in, it can't absorb salt, liquid, or any other seasoning. Worse, you've given our enemies; salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, campylobacter jejuni, and listeria monocytogenes, a completely X-rated playground upon which to gleefully frolic.

I took several microbiology classes in college. They affected me deeply. So deeply, I decided not to become an infectious disease specialist after all. Instead I pledged my life to fight the battle against various food borne illnesses related to the improper defrosting of poultry products. Cold running water is your friend in the quick thaw mission. Just in case I ever come over to your house, I thought you should know this. Science is at work here. Try to respect the sheer velocity at which bacteria can multiply.

Anyway, I'm going to assume by this point that the chicken is now browned, and those browned bits swimming in whatever is left of the olive oil is where all the flavor is in this recipe. Transfer the chicken strips to a bowl and add to the pan another 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and all of the garlic. Saute until fragrant and a very lightly browned. I think you'll agree with me at this point that it smells quite heavenly. Add the whipping cream to the pan and bring to a simmer stirring constantly to help release the browned chicken bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the shredded parmesan in and stir constantly until the cheese is melted. Then add back in the chicken and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl. Stir well to coat chicken, reseason with salt and pepper if necessary, and continue to simmer and stir until the sauce is thickened slightly. Add the defrosted peas (or blanched broccoli) right before you are ready to serve. Cook only until heated through.

If you were a real chef, at this point you would pour your drained pasta right into the Dutch oven with the alfredo sauce and gently toss it to coat. Here at Chez Freshour (Shay Fresh-Oooour) we are not so fancy...and the kids like their pasta a little less adorned, shall we say. So we just scooped up the alfredo sauce and unceremoniously dumped it over the fettuccini - like you would with plain old bolognese sauce. A word I believe in my 36 years I have never used in print before, and probably will never use again. Especially since I had to check the dictionary twice to make sure I got the "g" in the right place.

It's unspeakably yummy. Try it. You will not be disappointed. I fully guarantee your gastrointestinal fulfillment via the blogspere.

A note to my health conscience mother and my mother-in-law, whom I'm sure are reeling at the very thought of perhaps having to ingest this at my home over the next few weeks. Not to worry. I made it this last week. It's not going on the regular weekly rotation like Jeff's bacon and pancakes. Hee, hee, hee. : )

This recipe courtesy of my friend, Carol Reynolds. She also makes a mean Pig-in-a-Blanket.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, everything you've cooked when we're there is so good that it's worth whatever calories/fat/etc it contains! So feel free to cook this dish while we're there - it sounds fabulous!