I’ve written of the magical, the wonderful, the fantastical fettucini Alfredo before. There are many different versions available, and in this recipe video I’ve got another for you: Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli. Like traditional fettucini Alfredo, this version very simple to make, and it has the added benefit working in a vegetable that’s really good for you. I’ve also added some diced chicken, and with the extra protein, the fettucini is more than substantial enough for a main course entree - of course you can always serve a small portion as an appetizer, or even pasta course for a multi-course meal. It’s also one of those dishes where you can do the heavy lifting (cooking the broccoli and chicken) ahead of time, and then put everything together in about 15 minutes of active cooking. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Recipe overview and Keys to Success
To make the best Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli, just follow these few cooking techniques:
- Make sure to cook the Fettucini to al dente – not over cooked. Start testing the doneness (by tasting it) a couple minutes before the package suggested time, and then check every 30 seconds or so. Remember it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- Cook the broccoli off first and separately, to where it is just tender, then shock it in cold water to stop the cooking process. That will set the color, and ensure that in the main dish, we can add the broccoli at the last minute, and it won’t get over cooked and soggy – which is bad
- The starch in the pasta will tend to thicken up the cream sauce as they sit together. To compensate, make sure to keep the sauce a bit thinner to start with, knowing that every minute that goes by it will thicken slightly.
- The sauce only takes 5 – 8 minutes to make. So other than cooking the broccoli/chicken ahead of time, you can start the sauce just after starting the fettucini.
Ingredients for Fettucini Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli (for 2)
- One chicken breast
- 1 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 pounds of fettucini
- 3/4 pint of heavy cream
- 1 quarter to 1 third cup of grated parmesan cheese
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Tablespoon of chopped Italian parsley
Making the Fettucini Alfredo
- Bring about an inch of salted water to the boil in a sauce pan
- Add the broccoli to the water, and cover
- Cook until just tender, probably 4 – 6 minutes
- Drain the broccoli and immediately submerge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and set the color
- Drain the broccoli again (this can be done hours ahead of time and then kept in the fridge)
- Sear off your chicken breast, and then dice into pieces (you can also use leftover chicken)
- Bring a pot of salted water to the boil for the pasta
- Drop the fettucini in the water, stir, and then stir every few minutes to prevent sticking
- Bring a large sauté pan up to medium heat and add about a half pint of cream to the pan, allow the cream to come to a heavy simmer and start reducing
- When the pasta is almost cooked, add in the parmesan cheese, the chicken and the broccoli and bring them all up to temperature; season with salt and pepper
- Once al dente, drain the pasta (I like to reserve a bit of the pasta water), and toss the fettucini into the alfredo sauce; season with salt and pepper
- Toss the fettucini in the alfredo sauce for a couple minutes and take note of the thickness
- You can continue to cook to thicken it, or if needed, add more cream or pasta water to thin it out
- Give the fettucini a taste and re-season if needed
- Add the parsley and serve it up
I love this dish, and frankly feel a bit better about eating it with a healthy amount of fresh, perfectly cooked broccoli in there. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Wine Recommendation: Here are few wine pairing suggestions for fettucini alfredo from my friends at InToWine. I think I’m going to going along with the first post, and suggest the Barbara for my favored pairing. There is plenty of body and creaminess to work with a red here, and I think it will be a perfect match.