The other day I came home from work a little early and brought with me an appetite worthy of Joey Chestnut. I usually eat dinner around 6:30 or 7:00, but I couldn’t wait this time around. Right around 5:00 p.m. I had the frying pans out and ready to sizzle, but had no idea what to cook. Do they have an equivalent of writer’s block for cooks? The chopping block, maybe? (Lame…) Anyway, after scavenging around in the pantry and refrigerator, I found some chicken and fettuccine noodles. “That’s a good start,” I thought. Now how do I combine the two? I looked in the fridge for some cream to see if alfredo sauce was an option…nope. But I found some butter instead and that’s when it hit me to create a chicken garlic butter sauce. My grumbling stomach would soon be satisfied.
A few minutes and spices later I’d created a refreshingly delicious Italian dish. I have no idea if there’s some sort of fine line between what classifies something as Italian or not, but hey, since this uses fettuccine noodles I decided to name it “Chicken Fettuccine Allegri” and I’m calling it Italian…so…there.
Now just for the random heck of it and in honor of posting an Italian recipe today you should listen to Jose Carreras sing “Funiculi Funicula” while reading this recipe. So turn up the speaker juice and let your inner Italian out (as long as it’s well behaved).
Well, that’s enough talk, so let’s eat some of this Italian Chicken Fettuccine Allegri… here you go (printable version at the end of post). As with most pasta sauces, this tastes the best when eaten right away. When reheating left overs, add a smidgen of butter before microwaving to keep the noodles from soaking up all the sauce.
Chicken Fettuccine Allegri
1. The following steps can be completed while the fettuccini noodles are cooking.
2. In a hot skillet, lightly sauté chicken breasts in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Lightly salt and pepper while sautéing. Set aside when chicken is cooked through (do not overcook chicken).
3. In a sauce pan, lightly sauté the minced garlic in a little butter. Once sautéed, add the remaining butter and lemon juice. Once butter is melted, mix in parsley, oregano, sage, basil, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a simmer and allow sauce to mix together stirring occasionally.
4. Add chicken to butter sauce and allow sauce to simmer until noodles are done. Drizzle butter and chicken sauce over the fettuccini noodles and toss together. Serve immediately.
* You can substitute the chicken for ~14 oz shrimp. If using shrimp, skip step two (2), and add shrimp directly to butter sauce and only use 3 tablespoons lemon juice instead of 4 tablespoons. Cook shrimp in butter sauce until shrimp is red and the flesh is pearly opaque.
** Red pepper progressively gets hotter the longer it cooks. ¼ teaspoon will give this dish a slight kiss of heat, but if you’re one of those people who really like it hot, then feel free to add more!
“Chicken Fettuccine Allegri” (PDF, 1 page, 140 kb)