Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Sauce

It looks like a fancy romantic dinner. But really those wine glasses are full of white grape juice.
College students totally know how to live :D

I love pasta. Love it a lot. But my repertoire of recipes for homemade pasta sauces was pretty much limited to spaghetti until a couple years ago when I was living "on my own" and started experimenting (the quotes are because I was still technically in student housing and only lived a few miles from my parents).

Because I only ever ordered Alfredo pastas in restaurants, I assumed they would be really complicated to make. As it turns out, it's not hard at all if you are good as whisking.

Recently I tried some sort of 3-cheese Alfredo sauce from a jar and eww. It was not pleasant. I believe that there is such a thing as a tasty Alfredo sauce in a jar, but why try sorting through dozens of brands when making your own is way better?

So here is my recipe/method.

Please note that this is not remotely low-calorie.

Alfredo Sauce:
Makes 2 generous servings

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup cream
2/3 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 red bell pepper (They cost 2 bucks each.. so I am a little stingy with how I use them)
2-3 mushrooms (I used something that looked like a button mushroom... I am no mycologist)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup cooked chicken (or 1 chicken breast)
fresh basil to taste

First melt the butter over medium heat. This is more like 3 tablespoons. Two would have been better.

Add the flour and whisk immediately or the flour will clump. (if I had used less butter or more flour, this would look more paste-like, which is good)

Add the milk and cream and keep whisking. The flour has a tendency to want to stick to the bottom of the pan, but don't let it or the sauce will never thicken. Anyways, keep stirring until the sauce gets a good bit thicker. That could be 5-10 minutes.

When the sauce has thickened, add the cheese and salt and keep whisking! No need to be too vigorous, but just to keep it from burning.

And this is what it will look like when done. Set aside on warm heat, stirring occasionally, until you are ready to add the "fixings"

In another pan, heat the oil on medium. When pan is heated, add the garlic, sautéing for a minute or two. Also, mince your garlic finer than mine if you don't like chunks or garlic in your pasta.

Add mushrooms, minced Parsley (if you have fresh oregano or basil, use that too!) and stir. I should have added the bell pepper at this point, but I had forgotten and chucked it right into the Alfredo. It tastes a little better when cooked, but it didn't ruin it for me either.
After toasting the ingredients for a minute or two, add them to the Alfredo sauce along with the pre-cooked chicken and stir.

Serve over linguine noodles, and enjoy!

So much better then anything out of a can.

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