Homemade Chicken Alfredo


written by Tamara Styer
My friend Lindsay used to ask for my homemade chicken Alfredo when we lived together years ago. Now she just asks me to send jars of the creamy, cheesy sauce for Christmas! I’ve been making this Alfredo sauce since I was a teenager, and it’s always been a favorite of my friends and family. I’ve never attempted to jar it, but perhaps sharing the recipe will do! It’s only got a few ingredients and is simple to make, and the flavors are better than any Alfredo I’ve had at an Italian restaurant. The recipe is basic, but it’s all about high quality ingredients, like rich heavy whipping cream and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Ingredients:
2 organic chicken breasts, such as Smart Chicken
olive oil
fresh crushed garlic
crushed red pepper flakes
fresh cracked black pepper
kosher flake sea salt
Alfredo sauce:
5 to 6 oz freshly shredded parmesan cheese 
2 to 4 tbsp butter
1 qt heavy whipping cream
1 pkg linguine noodles

I like to use organic chicken, such as Smart Chicken brand chicken breasts because they are lean, taste great and are free of hormones and antibiotics. They’re a little more expensive but they’re so worth it. For salt I use kosher flake sea salt from The Spice Agent in downtown Branson, Missouri.
Season both sides of chicken with kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. I like the chicken to be very garlicky for this dish, so I use 2 whole cloves of garlic squeezed fresh with my Pampered Chef garlic press. Sauté chicken breasts in olive oil until browned and cooked through. 

For the Sauce:
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a tall sided sauté pan or large sauce pan. The surface area needs to be wide. Sometimes I add extra butter up to 4 tablespoons. Add the whole quart of heavy whipping cream and stir over medium heat until little bubbles form, then add 5 to 6 ounces of freshly shredded parmesan cheese or an Italian cheese blend. Stir constantly until incorporated and smooth. 
(Chef Note: Do not use the Italian cheese blend with cream cheese in the mix! It will curdle, and I speak from heartbreaking experience!)
Now is the time when you need to watch your sauce closely. Keep stirring on medium low heat and let the cheese and cream blend together into a thick, creamy, tantalizing sauce. If you’re using salted butter, you likely won’t need to add any salt because the cheese and butter are already salty, and your chicken will be another salty component. Once the sauce is the thickness you like, plenty of fresh cracked black pepper is all you need. If you’re using unsalted butter, go ahead and add a pinch of kosher flake sea salt. Sometimes I add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes for a light heat element that rounds the sauce out nicely. I simmer and stir mine for about 8 to 10 minutes until it’s nice and thick and I can’t keep from taking little spoonfuls out of the pan! 
(Chef Note: If it gets too thick, add a little milk. If it’s too thin, keep simmering!)

For the Noodles:
Bring water to a boil in a separate pot and add the noodles. Salt the water, and cook until al dente (cooked but still firm). Strain the noodles and pour them back into the pot with just a little of the cooking water still left, about 3 or 4 tablespoons. Generously drizzle olive oil over the noodles and coat to keep the noodles from sticking together. Serve hot with sauce ladled over top of noodles and chicken sliced prettily over the sauce. Another light dash of fresh cracked black pepper on top and voila! 
(Chef Note: Traditionally the noodles would be added to the sauce to cook the remainder of the way, but I like to make a lot of this recipe so there are leftovers, and the sauce seems to store better separate from the noodles!)
Serve this meal with Homemade Caesar Salad and Tomato, Garlic and Basil Bruchetta! (Recipes coming soon!)
Diet Factor: Doing Low Carb? Serve this over a plate of fresh spinach leaves. Trust me, it’s almost more awesome than noodles!

Tamara Styer is the Editor-In-Chief of Branson Foodie Magazine and Deitra Magazine.

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