Blackened Chicken Alfredo

November 16, 2011

Another easy and delicious pasta dish that I enjoyed with my family a few Sundays ago.  Warning: this is really addicting and rich.  Be sure to serve this dish with a nice big salad with a bright and tangy vinaigrette.  Such a great balance of flavors. :)

For Blackening Seasoning:
2 Tablespoons Paprika
2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Medium Onion
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan and Romano Cheese {in the tub from the dairy case}
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese {from the pasta aisle}
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1 Pound of Cooked Fettuccine Pasta
1/4 - 1/2 cup Reserved Pasta Water
1/4 Cup Sun dried Tomatoes
1/4 White Wine {I only had cooking wine on hand}
1/2 Cup Sliced Scallions

{What you will need for the blackening seasoning.}

{The other key players.}

First step, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

{Start with making your blackening season.  Dump all of your spices into a bowl. }

{Mix until combined.  If you don't use it all, store the rest in an air-tight container for future use.}

{Slice your chicken breasts in half to make thinner cutlets.  Sprinkle liberally with the blackening seasoning. **Save about a tablespoon of the seasoning for the cream sauce.}

{Meanwhile, heat your cast iron skillet over high heat and get it SMOKING HOT.  Yes, white hot.  If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you could use another pan, just make sure it's oven safe.}

{Place your seasoned chicken breasts in the hot skillet.  Do not add oil.  The seasoning will start to smoke, don't be alarmed {but open a window}}

{Blacken the first side by letting it cook for about 3-4 minutes. Flip over and blacken the other side.  Place in the preheated oven and cook until they are done and the internal temp reaches 165 degrees F.}

{As your chicken cooks, start chopping your veggies.  First the red pepper; cut into strips.}

{Then slice the onion into the same size pieces as the pepper.}

{Over medium high heat, saute your peppers and onions in the butter.  Let them cook until they are soft.

{Season with salt and pepper.  Let saute for 3-4 more minutes.}
{Here is where I realized that white wine would be a good addition to this recipe.  But I didn't have any on hand... I KNOW!!! Because I made this on a Sunday and the Wine & Spirits shop was closed, I had Cory go out and getting cooking wine.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  If you have real wine, use it. In a pinch, cooking wine would also work!}

{The sun dried tomatoes are an optional ingredient. If you can get them and you like the flavor / texture, use them!}
{Chop a few of the tomatoes into small pieces.}
{Your peppers and onions should be good and caramel'y.}

{Remove from heat and add the minced garlic.  You don't want it to burn over the heat.}
{Deglaze the pan with the wine.}

{Let this bubble and reduce for about 4 minutes.}

{Next, reduce the heat to medium low.  Add in your heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of the blackening seasoning.}

{Mix in your chopped sun dried tomatoes.}
{Stir to combine and let this bubble and thicken for 2-3 minutes.}

{Stir in your cheese.}
{Let this bubble and thicken for another 2-3 minutes.}

{While that's reducing, slice your scallions.}

{Your creamy cheese Alfredo sauce should be nice and thick. Taste for salt. Remember, flavor is important. :)}

{Your chicken should be done by now. Make sure it's cooked through, but don't overcook.}

{Remove from the pan and place on your cutting board.}
{Chop your chicken into nice bite sized pieces.}

{Add your cooked pasta into the cream sauce.  Also, add in about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.}

{Add your chopped chicken.}

{Mix well to combine.  The blackening seasoning from the chicken will mix in with the cream sauce. YUM!  At this point, decide if the sauce is too thick.  If so, add in more of the pasta water to thin it a bit.}

 {Serve on a pretty plate and top each serving with a sprinkle of scallions.}
xoxo, thanks for reading!

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