Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mix it Up: Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine
Adapted from CPK
Serves 4
*See my notes below

- 1 pound dry spinach fettuccine (or 2 pounds fresh)*
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (2 tablespoons reserved for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper (remove seeds and veins for a mild flavor)*
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (reserve 1 tablespoon for saute)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons gold tequila
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice*
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, diced 3/4 inch
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced*
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced*
- 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced*
- 1/2 medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced*
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream*

Prepare pasta in boiling, salted water until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes for dry pasta, approximately 3 minutes for fresh. Pasta may be cooked slightly ahead of time, rinsed and oiled and then reheated in boiling water or cooked to coincide with the finishing of the sauce.
Cook 1/3 cup cilantro, garlic and jalapeno in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes. Add stock, tequila and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to a paste like consistency and set aside.
Pour soy sauce over diced chicken and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cook onion and peppers, stirring occasionally, with remaining butter over medium heat. When the vegetables have wilted but still has a crunch, add the chicken and soy sauce. Toss and add reserved tequila-lime paste and cream. Bring the sauce to a boil and continue to boil gently until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick, about 3 - 5 minutes.
When sauce is done, either toss with well-drained spinach fettuccine and reserved cilantro to serve family style. Or spoon over pasta portions, evenly distributing chicken and vegetables.

*My notes from adapting this recipe:
When I reviewed this recipe, many many people commented that it called for way too much pasta. My suggestion is to either double your sauce, or use less pasta depending on how many people you intend to serve to create a balance.
Now for the jalapenos, my suggestion is that if you want some good spice, but not an overwhelming kick - keep the seeds and veins of the jalapenos and simply add more lime juice. The two tastes really balance out the flavor, and tastes amazing.
Veggies. I love love love veggies. So with this recipe I used 1/2 a red onion, and used the entire bell pepper for the red, green and yellow peppers. It was the perfect amount.
As for the heavy cream, I used regular creme to keep it lighter. The consistency of the sauce was great, and I'm even considering using another alternative the next time I make this.

Enjoy! My man and I loved it!

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