Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo – Since it was Loose, You Must Reduce

I usually don't film things I'm trying for the first time. There is so much set up involved, and time invested when I do one of these video recipes, that it's just too painful to have something not work and end up with nothing to show for all the effort.

I thought this chicken fettuccine Alfredo recipe was going to fit that description. I'm putting this recipe in the cookbook, and I wanted to try one that uses chicken broth, the same one used to poach the breasts, in place of some of the heavy cream.

I was so sure I had the right proportions that I decided to film it without a test. I was wrong, or as the kids say these days…Fail (which by the way, is getting really annoying, so cut it out).

The dish tasted great; the fortified chicken broth worked perfectly as a partial cream substitute, and I also managed to not use any butter or olive oil – another goal of this recipe. The problem, as you'll see, is I simply had twice as much chicken broth as I needed.

So, in case I'm not clear in the video. You poach the breasts in 2 cups of broth, but before you continue with the recipe, boil that poaching liquid down to 1 cup and you will be in slightly-less-caloric chicken fettuccine Alfredo heaven.

Also, be sure to undercook the pasta by at least a minute, so you can allow it to absorb the sauce at the end, as it rests covered. The last piece of advice you've heard before… DO NOT attempt this recipe unless you have a nice hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. It's like the main ingredient, so that green can is not going to cut it. Enjoy!




Ingredients for 4 large servings:
2 large chicken breasts
2 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
1 pound fettuccine
2 cups heavy cream
4 cloves garlic, very finely minced
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley (in summer toss some nice fresh basil in for a little different version)
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks really, really good. I can't wait to make it for moi.

And I totally agree, man. A lot of my friends say stuff like "EPIC FAIL" all the time. I didn't realize how annoying it really is until you mentioned it.

Stefan said...

This may sound like a really dumb question but..when exactly does one begin timing the cooking process for the pasta? Does it need to return to a full boil? Does it matter if it takes a bit before the dried pasta is flexible enough to be totally submerged? I have survived for many years without this information but...it would be great to know!!

Fran said...

Oh, what a great idea to use chicken broth! I am definitely going to try this. I like the idea of the intensity I imagine the stock adds.

Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

it looks so delicious.
thanks chef John for sharing.
ps
i voted for you:)
good luck!

Mish said...

I LOVEEE your blog!!

milkshake said...

I commend you for not using any nutmeg in your Alfredo (those philistines who put nutmeg into Alfredo ought to be lined up against the wall).
Just watching your video makes me hungry - I will definitely give this a try - and I will try the sweet basil version as well.

alfredo said...

who's Alfredo ?

Chef John said...

Alfredo alla Scrofa

Lucy said...

I've never really grasp the reason why people are still buying canned cheese. It doesn't melt properly, doesn't even taste like cheese. The most surprising thing is that Kraft even has canned cheddar cheese!!! As if parmesan alone isn't enough of an abomination.

Alberto said...

I dunno I usually do it TOO thick instead of too light...

so I'll follow your directions... lol

Anonymous said...

Do you have any great bariatric-friendly recipes (no pasta, rice, or white flour, poultry only, olive oil only)? White chicken chili is my most exciting dish and it's getting old. :(

Love this site :)

Gil said...

Dear Chef John,
When is your cookbook going to be ready??!!! I really want to get a copy!

Chef John said...

publisher tells me this summer sometime. thanks!

Chef John said...

i pretty much just post what I'm making so I'm not sure which are bariatric-friendly. Doing recipes for the cookbook now, so don't really have time to make requests, but after that maybe they'll be more of that kind.

Mike said...

I am going to stock pile a bunch of your cookbooks and give them away as gifts for Christmas :)

Hastings said...

Dear Chef John,

do you think this could work with salmon or prawns and fish/prawn stock for the vegetarians among us?

Micah said...

Thank you so much for your contributions! You are the reason why I can cook. I've made my girlfriend really happy with my newly found cooking powers. Thanks a million. - Micah Layne "Hawaiian flutist"

Chef John said...

thanks! i've always said Hawaiian flutists have great taste.

Chelsea said...

1/4 what parsley? WHAT?!
theres no unit of measurement, Chef JohnnNNNNNnnnnnn ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Anyways I'm making this tomorrow for my family. At what point do you think the poison should be added?
just kidding ;)

Chef John said...

lol, thanks!

Rita said...

"that's me waving..."

AHAHAHA! chef, you are such a goof!

that is a "must" recipe, especially on evenings when i don't have all the time to cook. thanks so much for all the recipes, tips and techniques.

by the way, what's going on with the food blog awards? just curious.

Chef John said...

I believe they end at he end of the month and then we'll see. thanks

Janaswang said...

Hello Chef, I made this today for my girlfriend and I for our 3rd anniversary. It turned out great! Restaurant quality. The cheese was on the pricey side but definitely worth it, goodbye green canister! :)

Elizabeth and Jared said...

There is a packet pasta recipe in Australia called Continental Alfredo. i love it - even though its packet pasta!! it never occured to me to actually make it myself from scatch! i think you have just inspired me!

Meng Ning said...

This was really good :) My inlaws who came from Russia LOVED it. Thanks so much for the recipe and hope all goes well for you.

Flour said...

Saving this one to my bookmarked recipes! Love alfredo, and have been looking for a good recipe:) Thanks Chef John.

iliea said...

hey chef! i am super excited about this recipe! any modifications i need to make if i am using fresh or handmade pasta?

Chef John said...

i find that fresh pasta just doesn't absorb as much sauce, so maybe use a bit less broth, or reduce the cream and broth down a bit before doing the egg yolk. But this sauce tastes great on any pasta. (how could it not, it's basically just cream and cheese ;-)

Anonymous said...

We so LOVED this!! It was the best I have ever had! My husband did not speak a word all durring dinner.. he was way too busy eating :) Thank you for all your awesome recipes.

David said...

can you detail how much salt and pepper you used? i have no idea how much i'm going to use since, idk i can't taste it

Pete said...

Chef John, so i tried this recipe because i love creamy alfredo sauce, but when i made mine, i found it a little too light on the cream. Maybe i didn't boil off enough stock. Anyway from your recipe list you say to use 2 cups of cheese, i'm not sure if my conversions were correct but i bought 2 8oz bricks of parmigiano-reggiano. when i grated 1 brick it was already a LOT of cheese so I didnt even dare grate the second.

Chef John said...

A cup of cheese isn't 8 weight ounces, it only weighs about 4. A cup is 8 fluid ounces not a weight measurement.

Anonymous said...

I did try but I got bad results :-/

Eric Thompson said...

I made this last night. I had previously been using a simpler recipe i modified from a tyler florence recipe:

*pint heavy cream
*stick unsalted butter
*1-2 cups parmigiano reggiano and pecorino romano
*garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Just bring to a simmer and serve over griddled-grilled chicken, seasoned with Paula Deen's house seasoning

this produces an excellent but very heavy sauce, so i decided to try Chef John's sauce. I did add both parmigiano reggiano and pecorino romano. I have to say, this is a comparable sauce. It didn't sacrifice flavor, in fact, it think the chicken stock really adds a significant boost of chickeny goodness.

I am not the biggest fan of poached chicken but in this recipe, it really fits. Overall, i would rate this an 8/10, well worth the extra time and effort. I will be making this again and it is quickly becoming my go to recipe.

WELL DONE CHEF JOHN!!!

Anonymous said...

Chef John I made this today and the sauce tastes way too cheesy almost like feet. Does that mean I put too much cheese? I can barley taste the sweetness of the cream. The sauce was perfect though after I reduced it to 1 cup, but did I put too much cheese. Please advise. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

I made this the other day and it was the first time my family had ever had alfredo that was not from a jar...needless to say you have helped me trick them into thinking I can cook. Bless you and thanks for keeping it real.

Judy

Julia said...

Hi Chef,

I made this the other night for my family and initially I wasn't happy with the sauce because I thought it was too loose...and when I added the egg yolks, I ended up with little clumps of egg but I since learned from your hollandaise recipe that I probably wasn't careful enough about getting all the white off...and have since used my hands to seperate instead of shell to shell...overall it was delicious...I think I was expecting it to be thicker like a sauce made with flour...but I like the idea of using eggs to thicken so I will continue practicing with it...:-) Thanks!!!

Rachael PDX said...

Chef John,

Why do we temper the egg yolk for this recipe, but we can add the whole eggs (and sugar) right into the cream for pastry cream?

Is it because we strain the pastry cream?

Thank you wise food guru.

Chef John said...

yes, we dont want to risk chunks of cooked egg yolk.

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Great recipe! Just tried it for the first time and it worked out great. My fiance usually finds something wrong with everything I try to make lol...she's a picky eater. But, she scarfed it down like she hadn't eaten in a week. :)

Thanks for posting all your recipes and walking the culinary challenged through them step by step.

Cheers,
Jeff

Sy said...

I cheated a bit and made this with the chicken breasts from your garlic chicken recipe. Even my husband, Mr. I-don't-like-pasta-that-much, went back for seconds.
Thank you!

Charlane said...

Attempted to make the alfredo and I think I succeeded. It was wonderful. I liked the lighter version as did my husband. I told him after that it was. It's not a rich and creamy as my fav resteraunt, but Im no chef either. This was my first time making it and I loved having the videos to view. I fell in love with this blog. It is now a favorite!

tiaralatte said...

Hi, I made this recipe for dinner and it turned out great, after poaching my chicken I noticed it was kinda pale so I gave it a tan in some evoo and i also added 1 1/2 cups of frozen green peas mmm good! Thank You :)

rosie said...

hi.....
i'm a beginner cooker....
i just tried this recipe..
and i rally satisfied with this recipe...
taste like from my fave restaurant..
my husband love it so much....
thank you so much for he recipe.....
:D

Anonymous said...

I did this for my dad today and he loved it! Thank you so much for the recipe, it was delicious!

Anonymous said...

On your chicken , can you use chicken base instead of chicken broth
Thanks

Chef John said...

Sure, make broth with it first.

Anonymous said...

Chef John
Thanks for getting back to me on my use of chicken base instead of broth. This is in the rotation. Wife , kids and their friends loved it. Any other ideas or recipes using poached chicken, it was delicious!!

Ayaka said...

What a flavorful sauce! I've been on the prowl looking for that alfredo sauce that just hits the spot, and this is it! May I ask though what causes the sauce to have that slight sweetness to it? Also I'm a huge fan of mushrooms and thought about throwing some in. When would be a good time to add those in?

Love this blog. I'm making a check list for which recipes to try! :)

Chef John said...

the sweetness comes from the cream. thanks!

pc said...

I made this meal tonight. I have a lot of things to work on, but it came out delicious. What I really liked about the meal was the overall softness, the richness of the sauce, and it does not make you feel heavy afterwards. The alfredo I usually eat makes you feel heavy and at the same time has a watery taste.

I made it for my family so I actually put 6 chicken breasts in and kept everything else the same. The sauce I made was to thin but the extra chicken soaked it up.

Lastly, I really have no idea how properly cooked pasta tastes or feels like. Is it personal preference? I've tried pasta that was supposedly overcooked by 5-10 mins and it tasted fine to me, the only pasta that disagreed with me is undercooked pasta where it is still hard.

Thanks again.

Chef John for the win.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for an amazing recipe! I made this for dinner last night and it is now my favorite meal to make. It was so cheesy and delicious. My fiance even said it was better than his grandmas! So thank you again for helping me make a dish that made my fiance and my whole family happy.

Chris said...

hey there,
i will try the recipe tomorrow evening. do you think some white wine would give the sauce a little extra kick?

Anonymous said...

What an amazing meal. I just made this for dinner and my whole flat loved it. It was sooo delicious, thanks for the recipe :) it was great to follow the video.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef, this recipe looks amazing and I can't wait to try it. I was just wondering when and where I might be able to add shrimp to this dish.... or if thats a horrible idea. ......the person that i'm going to make it for loves a certain chicken and shrimp Alfredo dish.... and pretty much I'm trying to compete with it. Any guidance will be very useful.
Thanks!!!

Joshua 831 said...

You never posted how much black pepper do you add can you tell me if you don't mind me asking seƱor chef John

Chef John said...

I can't, it's "to taste"

Evan St. James said...

Chef John,
I have to say that my family loves your recipes. I have been using food wishes dot com for about two months now and my family always looks forward to dinner now. I Entertain at a place called Scarcellas Italian Grill, in Temecula, Ca. for 13 years now and have eaten their food every weekend and have always loved their food, but I have used your recipes and you blow their food away. Not saying they're not good, but your food is incredible. You're in my kitchen every night trying something new. I am thinking about some type of cooking school. Do you teach anywhere? I would take your classes any time. Thanks, for being apart of my family.
Evan St. James
www.evanstjames.com

Peter Webster said...

How many ounces are in a cup of
of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano???

I want to cheat and buy pre-grated cheese. I'm hearing everything from 2oz to 8oz and confused on how much to use for this recipe.

Chef John said...

Now way to say for sure since depends on how fine it's grated and if it's packed etc. Could be 4. BTW, do not buy cheap pregrted Parmesan!

dana enani said...

hey chef :) wanted to ask about the chicken stock. I dont have that, can i use hot water instead?

Tamera said...

I looooove this recipe! I've made it like 12 times this month!!

Rebecca G said...

I made those last night, excellent. BUT I only need it for two persons and 1 pound of fettucine was too much. Do you have a recipe for 2?

Yazj42 said...

Your recipe calls for Garlic, but you don't add any in the video. When do you add the garlic?

Chef John said...

Watch the video again! It's added to the stock!

Hugo Taljaard said...

I made this today, Its awesome, thanks. Kind regards. Your biggest fan

Amber said...

This was delicious. I made it a few days ago and both my boyfriend and I loved it. This recipe is a keeper! I did not put the egg yolks in the sauce. I also added a bag of frozen stir fry veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms) - it was a nice way to trick myself into eating something healthy to go along with all the creamy, cheesy goodness.