The Best-Ever Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo is one of my favorite meals. It's rich, cheesy, and creamy, and probably needs to be served with a side of Tums. But, boy, is it worth it!
Even though I like it just as it is and could eat this every night of the week, my husband is determined that every single meal should be served with some kind of meat. So I like cooking up some chicken coated in spices and a little Parmesan cheese itself to offer a juicy, crunchy, protein-filled topping to this already delicious meal.
Pasta is definitely a staple around our house because it's so cheap, easy to find, easy to use, and fills us up with less food. To make it healthier for your family, try using whole wheat pasta. We have made the switch at our house and feel the difference.
Granted, your family might baulk at the slightly different color of whole wheat pasta, though they sell it "hidden" under the guise of the normal pasta color. However, the flavor of whole wheat pasta, along with the amazing health benefits it will provide, are well worth the step out of your comfort zone into new foods.
Benefits of Whole Wheat
Whole wheat as a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese, as well as a good source of magnesium. Eating refined grains, the kind not so good for you, like white breads, cookies, white pastas, and rice, are now being linked not only to weight gain, but to increased risk of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. While eating more whole grain foods, like whole wheat, is being shown to protect against these problems.
Baked Chicken Breasts
- Chicken Breasts
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Powder
- Bread Crumbs
- Parmesan Cheese
- Fettuccine Pasta
- Whole Bottle of Parmesan Cheese
- Half and Half
- 2 fresh or frozen chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, (1 slice of bread)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1 regular box dry fettuccine pasta
- 1 regular bottle grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pint half and half
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet for baking by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying it generously with cooking spray.
- Defrost your chicken breasts. You can do this one of three ways, although some methods are safer than others.
- The first method, which is by far the safest, and how the professionals recommend you do it, is to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. In this case, you would have to know 24 hours ahead of time what you were going to cook for dinner the next night, and I usually don't.
- Another method, also safe, is to thaw your chicken breasts in a room temperature water bath in the sink a few hours before you will need to use them. Sometimes I remember to do this, and this is how my husband does it.
- Finally, the method I use, but not the safest method, is defrosting them in the microwave. I've always done it this way, I can thaw them in a matter of minutes while I am preparing other things, and I don't have to know I even need them until right as I start cooking. But I've been told this is not the best method. At least you have options.
- In the meantime, while they are thawing, you can begin preparing your mixture to roll your chicken in.
- Start by processing a single slice of wheat bread in your food processor until it is nothing but fine crumbs. When processed down, you will dump them in a large bowl or in a pie pan.
- Along with your bread crumbs, add your garlic powder, your basil, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
- Once your chicken is thawed, you will be ready to coat them and cook them. I prefer only to soak them with water before coating them in the bread mixture, but many like to coat them first in olive oil. Your choice.
- Get them wet, essentially, and then coat each thoroughly in your bread mixture. Lay them out on your cookie sheet and bake them for about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, check to make sure they are still tender and juicy, but all of the pink in the middle is gone.
- About 15 minutes until the chicken is done, you will want to start your fettuccine alfredo.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the temperature down just a bit and dump in your fettuccine pasta noodles. You will want to stir them really good when you first put them in so they don't stick together, and every so often to be sure they are cooking thoroughly.
- Cook until done. I like to check by cutting one with a fork and trying to eat it. You'll know the consistency you like.
- In another medium sized pot, pour your pint of half and half and set the temperature to about medium. You'll want to heat your milk slowly so it doesn't curdle, and keep stirring it.
- Just as it starts to bubble, turn the temp down just a tad, and start adding in your bottle of Parmesan cheese a little at a time. You may want to mix these together with a whisk to break up any large clumps of cheese, and keep the whole mixture smooth.
- After mixing in the entire bottle, give it one last good stir and then turn the temperature to low so you can finish the rest of your dinner.
- After your noodles are done, strain them in the sink.
- Once your chicken breasts are done, remove them from the oven and slice each into small slices.
- You may choose to leave each item separate for everyone to serve themselves what they wish, or to go ahead and assemble your plates. Pasta first, then alfredo sauce, and finally sliced chicken on top.
- Serve with garlic bread and salad and voila!
- Yummy! Yummy!
|Serving size: 1 chicken breast and 1 cup of fettucine|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Along with whole wheat noodles, by baking your chicken coated in wheat bread crumbs, and in such a way that it can drain, you are saving yourself and your family from unnecessary fats, and instead giving them much needed vitamins and minerals.
I can't say much for the fat or nutrients in the half and half and Parmesan cheese, except that sometimes it's fun to splurge. And if you're going to do it, you'll want to do with this this yummy meal!
I haven't found an adult or child yet that hasn't loved this meal and gone back for seconds. To make it even healthier, toss in some broccoli, chopped asparagus spears, or for those picky eaters, toss in some chopped cauliflower to hide the veggies amongst the cheese.
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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness