In honor of our anniversary trip to Italy this week, I thought I would post some of our favorite Italian dishes. Chicken fettuccine alfredo is one of those staple Italian dishes. It’s simple, but so so good. It’s also much easier to make from scratch then you might think! Here’s my version of this restaurant favorite:
You can choose to do everything in one pan, as I have, or you can make the chicken and the sauce in separate pans. Personally, I prefer to do them in the same pan because the seasoning from the chicken helps to give the sauce tons of yummy flavor. However, be aware that if you make the recipe this way, your fettuccine sauce will not be white, but instead, more of a creamy tan color (hence the “Dirty Alfredo” name). If you prefer the pure white restaurant style sauce you can still follow all of the directions below, just make your chicken and sauce in separate pans.
For the chicken, heat a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. Season four boneless skinless chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, paprika, and just a little bit of cayenne.
Once the pan is heated, place in the chicken breasts. The breasts will take different amounts of time to cook depending on their thickness. Flip them over after they have a nice golden color on the bottom (around 4 to 5 minutes for an average sized breast).
Cook the other side until the chicken breasts are cooked all the way through. You can tell this by their firmness or with a meat thermometer. They should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once they are cooked through, remove them to a cutting board to rest.
I don’t want to ruin the illusion for you, but this dish is really really rich.
There’s a reason that you’ll probably never find fettuccine alfredo on the light menu at a restaurant. That reason is heavy cream, butter, and cheese. They make up the base of an alfredo sauce and there’s really no substitution for them.
But oh man, the deliciousness is worth it! Just go to the gym an extra time this week and enjoy this Italian classic!
Prepare yourself for what I’m about to say.
Melt a whole stick of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
I feel bad just writing that!
Add in 2 cloves of minced garlic.
Stir the garlic and butter around and allow it to cook for 30 seconds to a minute or until the garlic turns slightly golden.
Prepare yourself again for what I’m going to say.
Pour in 2 cups of heavy cream.
I warned you that it was decadent!
Stir everything together and allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, grate a cup and a half of parmesan cheese.
Turn the heat to low.
Add all the cheese into the sauce and quickly mix everything together.
Keep stirring until the cheese is completely melted and the sauce is smooth and creamy.
You’ll notice that my sauce is tan in color rather than being pure white. Like I mentioned above, this is because I like to make my sauce in the pan where I cooked the chicken to give it more flavor. If you want a restaurant style pure white sauce, just make the sauce in a different pan, but I highly recommend giving the “dirty” version a try!
At this point, taste the sauce and season it with freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.
Pour in a pound of cooked fettuccine noodles and toss everything together.
Top it with a little bit of fresh parsley for a pretty presentation!
Thinly slice the chicken and spread one breast over each serving of pasta.
For a fun twist, try swapping the fettuccine noodles for spinach and cheese tortellini! Tortellini makes the world a better place. Dirty Chicken Tortellini Alfredo is to die for…
However you make it, I guarantee you’ll be eating happy!
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound of fettuccine noodles
- fresh parsley (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and cayenne. Once the oil is heated, add the chicken into the pan. Allow it to cook for 4 to 5 minutes on the first side or until the bottom has browned, then flip it and cook the other side for around 3 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest.
For the sauce, melt one stick of butter (1/2 cup) in a large pan. You can make the sauce in the same pan where you cooked the chicken, but if you do this the sauce will not be pure white. For pure white sauce, use a different pan.
Once the butter has melted, add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to minute.
Stir in the heavy cream. Bring the sauce to a boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and add in the cheese. Immediately begin whisking and keep whisking until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Taste the sauce for seasoning and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add in a pound of cooked fettuccine noodles and toss until coated with the sauce.
Thinly slice the chicken breasts and spread a whole breast over each serving of pasta. Top with a little bit of fresh parsley if desired.