• Chef Dylan

CHICKEN ALFREDO



This one-pan weeknight whip-up with peppery chicken, aromatic lemon and a silky cream sauce is a classic Italian dish.

This simple Italian pasta sauce is the foundation to a variety of different pasta dishes, which means getting good at this sauce is a must for any pasta lover. The traditional Alfredo recipe uses only a few simple ingredients: parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper – and while this traditional style is great, I’ve added my own Chef Dylan twist. Indeed, I find using my Spartan seasoning brings an extra boost of flavour.


The roasted garlic adds a delicate caramelised flavour, and the pepper adds a slight warmth to the palette, while the zing from the lemon zest cuts through the richness of the sauce, with the parsley adding a touch of colour. I like to use spaghetti noodles instead of fettuccine from the traditional recipe, as I love the way the sauce clings to the pasta, but by all means feel free to use whatever pasta you like or have to hand in your pantry.


For this recipe you cook the chicken, sauce and pasta all in the same pan, which makes the washing up a breeze. What’s more, the aroma created by this dish will have everyone in the house salivating and eagerly awaiting dinner time to dig in.


Did You know? Alfredo sauce was named after its inventor Alfredo di Lelio a Roman restaurateur. But how did it become quite so popular? Well, legend says that while working in his family restaurant in Rome in 1908.

He raced home to check on his heavily pregnant wife to see what she would like to eat for supper “I’m sick of all the pastas on the menu” she complained. “They are too rich”. “Can you please just make something very simple?” she requested. Being a dutiful loving husband, he kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “Of course my dear”.


Back in the kitchen, turning up the heat in a frypan on the stove he simply melted some butter, generously cracked in black pepper, then tossed in some fettuccine and finished it off with a few grates of parmesan. His wife enjoyed the meal so much she insisted that it needed to be added to the restaurant menu. He called the new dish ‘fettuccine Alfredo’ after himself, and his locals loved it. It became a standard item unique to his menu, before one day in 1920, the famous Hollywood stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, who were on their honeymoon in Rome, found themselves sitting in the now very popular restaurant.


The house specialty ‘fettuccine Alfredo’ caught their attention and after devouring the dish and falling in love with its simplicity, they asked Alfredo for the recipe. Being the kind and generous man that he was, he gave it to them. To express their gratitude, the couple gave him a set of golden silverware engraved with the words _“To Alfredo, the king of the noodles._” The couple returned to Hollywood, where they couldn’t stop raving about this wonderful meal they had had in Rome. Word spread like wildfire, and variants of 'fettuccine Alfredo’ started to pop up on menus all across America.


Back in Rome, the dish gained more fame. Alfredo’s restaurant became the place to eat for international movie stars and directors. Everyone from Sophia Loren to Frank Sinatra and Brigitte Bardot descended upon ‘Alfredo Alla Scrofa’ to taste the famous ‘fettuccine Alfredo’ that everyone was talking about in Hollywood. Thereafter, ‘fettuccine Alfredo’ exploded in popularity across the western world, namely America, along with its now multiple variations. Somewhat strangely however, the dish never took off in the rest of Italy and no restaurants in Italy actually serve it. I guess the saying “no prophet is accepted in his own country” rings true. In fact, you’ll only find the original “fettuccine Alfredo” at two restaurants, ‘Alfredo alla Scrofa’, the original restaurant that Alfredo di Lelio owned which he later sold to a new owner in 1943 and ‘Il Vero Alfredo’ the restaurant that Alfredo and his son Armando subsequently opened in 1950.


Rather amazingly, both restaurants are still open and continue to happily serve their customers ‘fettuccine Alfredo’ to this very day. If you’re a pasta fan, you should try this one!


Chef Dylan tip: If you're missing a bit of crunch, simply mix a cup of panko breadcrumbs with 4 tbs of melted butter on a tray and toast it up in the oven at 200°C for 5 mins and then sprinkle “Salt Bae”style over the finished pasta. This tip works for any pasta you make and believe me the added texture really takes it to the next level.


PREP TIME: 5mins

COOKING TIME: 30 mins

SERVINGS: 4


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 300g skinless chicken breasts

  • 3 tablespoons SPARTAN

  • 1 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (store bought is fine)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 200g spaghetti or fettuccine

  • 1/2 cup thickened cream

  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan

  • Herbs for garnish

  • Panko crumbs and butter (optional) for garnish


METHOD

  1. In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons of Spartan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken breast and coat with seasoning. Set to one side to marinate.

  2. In a large frypan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add Spartan marinated chicken and fry until golden and cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Turn pan to low and transfer chicken to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes.

  3. Mean while add garlic to fry pan and stir frying it until fragrant. Add 1 tablespoon Spartan, milk and chicken stock. Turn up heat to medium and bring to a simmer.

  4. Add spaghetti, stirring frequently with tongs for about 3 minutes to stop spaghetti sticking together.

  5. Let cook until al dente, 8 minutes or so.

  6. Slice chicken ready to serve.

  7. Stir in heavy cream and parmesan cheese until combined. Simmer until sauce thickens.

  8. Remove from heat and stir in sliced chicken.

TO SERVE


Serve with a sprinkle of herbs to finish.