Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Italian spiced chicken with burst tomato fettuccini Alfredo

A few weeks ago my Sissy was telling me about some meatballs she made and used the dry Italian dressing packet as the seasoning. That sparked my memory about A. how delicious that is and B. how quick and easy it is too!! After doing a quick ingredient check I discovered that there was nothing unapproved (no HFCS or PHO's) in the dressing packet so I grabbed a few. I had no real idea on what I'd do with them, short of making some yummy Italian dressing for salad maybe.

Last night I had chicken breasts to work with. Pretty boring. The Witch has made a LOT of chicken dishes so it becomes harder and harder to find new and different things to do with them that I haven't already shared with you all. Enter the Italian dressing mix! Running late on time I sliced the chicken into 2 pieces, like butterflying but not leaving them attached. That gives me a few advantages; quicker marinate time as there's less meat to penetrate, quicker cooking time because the meat isn't as thick and more surface to seasoning contact so its more flavorful.

The sauce for the pasta is quick and delicious. Cooking cherry tomatoes causes them to burst, releasing their sweet liquids into the sauce. A combination of white wine, pasta cooking water and half and half yield a rich sauce that just begs for some fresh grated cheese, in this case Asiago. After melting the cheese into the sauce add the cooked pasta and give thanks for the packet of Italian dressing mix. One last thing - beside the great flavor of this dish, its QUICK too! Not including marinade time its done in 20 minutes or less - the chicken and sauce cook while the pasta boils AND if you were really pressed for time you could skip the marinade all together with out a lot of significant flavor loss. Gotta love that Witchcraft!

Italian spiced chicken with burst tomato fettuccine Alfredo
makes 4 servings
2 chicken breasts, sliced width wise so you have 2 thin cuts
1/2 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing (dry)
1 c cherry tomatoes
1/2 c grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/4 c white wine
1/2 pasta cooking water
1/3 c half and half
kosher salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 box fettuccine (Barilla brand is the Witches' choice)

Slice chicken breasts into cutlets, so you have 2 thin cuts. Sprinkle each side with kosher salt and most of the Italian dressing packet (reserve about 1/2 t of the seasoning for the sauce). Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling heavily salt the water and cook the fettuccini according to package (about 12 minutes).

While pasta cook, heat a large sautee pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and cook chicken (160F internal temp), flipping half way thru cooking. Place in a warm oven to hold until service.

In the same sautee pan add the cherry tomatoes and toss to coat in oil. Add the white wine, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Allow to reduce until you have about 2 tablespoons of wine left. It will be dark, don't be alarmed. The tomatoes should start to burst, releasing their juices into the sauce.

Add the pasta water and remaining 1/2 t of Italian seasonings, stir well and allow to reduce again. When pasta water has reduced by half add the half and allow to reduce slightly. Squeeze any unbroken tomatoes with tongs to release their juices. Add in the shredded cheese and stir well to melt and incorporate cheese. Add drained fettuccine and coat pasta with sauce.

Serve chicken with the fettuccine and a drizzle of the burst tomato sauce over top.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 428.0
Total Fat 14.5 g
Saturated Fat 5.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.0 g
Cholesterol 85.8 mg
Sodium 484.5 mg
Potassium 421.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Sugars 0.8 g
Protein 37.4 g


angicock said...

delicious recipes.

StephenC said...

There's something so retro about using dry Italian dressing mix. When I was a kid, my mom had one of those cruets that you mix it in. We had it (and other flavors) all the time (always on iceberg lettuce). Maybe if I can get past my in-born laziness I'll make some homemade fettucine.

Design Wine and Dine said...

Now this is comfort food - beautiful comfort food at its best!

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken breast too, as I get it on sale often and though boring - it is good for you and so versatile!

Beautiful photos and I love the thin asparagus in the back...left over from your last post, right?!

Thanks again for the recipe and inspiration!

Ananda Rajashekar said...

such a comfortable food they look gorgeous!

Baking Addict said...

Your posts always make my mouth water. This is no exception - definitely heart warming food, perfect for the season.

Siri said...

You had me at burst tomato : )

Jenn said...

I love it! Love it when you cook cherry tomatoes..they are just so sweet and wonderful! This recipe sounds sooooo good.. and simple, you know I like that!!

Tess said...

Great looking dish! Make me hungry!

Anonymous said...

What a great meal this will make. A great recipe.

Bethany said...

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. I want it. Now!

whozyerdanny said...

Looks and sounds super tasty!

Teauna said...

that looks so stinkin' good! I want some NOW!!!!

Big Dude said...

Just found your blog via link back fron Jenn's Food Journey and you cook what I like to eat - so I'll be around, and this dish looks great.

Molly said...

Wow...this looks super yummy! Can't wait to try it! Thanks for "self promoting" at story time last night!

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