Scott’s pre-game meals always consists of carb loading. The night before Scott pitches I always make him some form of pasta with a protein. This is one of the most requested pasta dinners when I actually give him a choice. It started out with just alfredo and slowly graduated to chicken alfredo, which then graduated to chicken alfredo with broccoli. The baked/steamed chicken is actually a healthy twist on what usually can turn into a heavy meal. I did this crazy diet and learned this technique as a healthy alternative to eating grilled chicken, or poached chicken all the time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 pound box of Fettuccine pasta
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 tablespoons of butter, chopped
3 tablespoons of flour (all-purpose)
1 3/4 cup half and half
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
6 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (shredded)
Salt and pepper
For the Baked Chicken:
about 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
3-4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped in half
fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Season all sides of chicken with pepper. In a shallow roasting pan or oven safe casserole dish, place a few garlic cloves under each piece of chicken as well as on top. Cover the oven safe baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the juices run clear.
Uncover and let rest 10 minutes. Discard the pieces of garlic and dice chicken. Add chicken to pasta on top of the sauce.
In a medium stock pot on medium high heat melt butter and begin to sauté the minced garlic for about 3 minutes until softened. Sprinkle in flour and whisk it into the butter creating a roux (a thick paste). Let the roux turn into a nice golden color, being careful not to burn it. Do not let it get brown! Slowly add in the heavy cream and half and half and stir until it is nice and smooth and the roux hasn’t left any lumps. Let this thicken up; usually taking less than 7-8 minutes.
While this is thickening, bring a large stock pot full of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as direct on package. The last 5 minutes of cooking time you are going to add the uncooked broccoli along with the pasta. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain a minute and return to large stockpot. Its ok if there is still a little bit of water in the noodles, this will help the sauce to adhere to the noodles.
Now that the cream is thickened, remove from heat and add the cheese whisking until it is fully melted. Salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick add a splash of the reserved pasta water.
Pour alfredo sauce over the cooked pasta and toss. Serve with my Semi-Homemade Garlic Knots.