This past Wednesday night I cooked for one of my awesome girlfriends, Arminda. I met Arminda at 24 Hour Fitness during spin class, and we would always sit next to each other during class. She's an easy-going, warmhearted and super sweet gal - you would just love her to death. We always keep each other motivated during spin class and out of the gym - we even ran the OC half-marathon together. She recently had a birthday and I wanted to celebrate by cooking her a fabulous dinner.
I wanted to prepare something simple for dinner, yet satisfying and very garlicky. I based this dish on restaurant style chicken fettuccine alfredo - it's always so creamy from the sauce and very one-sided. I wanted to kick up the dish by roasting the garlic and adding some veggies into the dish. When you roast garlic, you get the sweet nutty and milder flavor versus the raw sharp garlic. It was definitely a garlic lover's dream dish. Happy Birthday Arminda, you are a fabulous girlfriend!
Chicken with Roasted Garlic Sauce & Veggies
Original Krystal Recipe
1 head of garlic
1 pint of heavy cream
1 pound of fettuccine
2 chicken breasts, cooked & chopped into 1/2 inch pieces**
2 cups of broccoli
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
6 to 8 basil leaves, chiffonade
1/2 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano
Salt & pepper to taste
**Note: I bake the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Season with salt & pepper, and a teaspoon or so of herbs de provence and a drizzle of olive oil. The chicken is perfectly juicy.
Yield: 6 hefty servings
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare the roasted garlic. Cut the top portion of the garlic head, drizzle olive oil and season with salt. Bake for 45 minutes and let cool. Remove the garlic cloves by squeezing the garlic from bottom. Add roasted garlic cloves into a mortar and pestle, mash until it resembles a paste. Add a little bit of olive oil to help liquefy.
2. Cook pasta until al dente.
3. While pasta is cooking, add the onions and pepper to a medium-high skillet. Cook until the onions are slightly translucent - about 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic paste and heavy cream. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the cooked chicken, parmigiano reggiano cheese and broccoli and mix well. Let it cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Combine the mixture with the pasta and let it rest for 10 minutes until serving. Garnish with basil leaves and parmigiano reggiano.
Review: My girlfriend loved her birthday dinner, she couldn't believe her eyes when I gave her a big plate of pasta and Arminda finished her entire plate. My love for garlic really shined through this dish. Too bad you can't taste this dish, because it was DELICIOUS!