Here is one of our favourite recipes made with and supporting local British Columbia products and businesses – our Best Ever Blackened Chicken Alfredo. First off, a little history behind why this is our favourite and what makes it the Best Ever.
Steve, our Red Seal Chef was the kitchen leader of one of Earl’s flagship restaurants in Calgary during the early days of the chain’s massive success. I worked with him at Earl’s for a short time, too. We each shared a favourite meal while we worked there, that we called “Blackened Chicken Alfredo” which was punched in as: sub Blackened Chicken Breast | sub Fettuccine Alfredo. It was a match made in heaven, just like Steve and I are today. (Cue the sappiness… ❤️)
Best Ever Blackened Chicken Alfredo
Although Steve can’t remember for the life of him the blend of spices that went into the Earls blackening recipe, he has developed his own recipe for blackening seasoning. His Alfredo sauce recipe is also downright delicious, which you can find at the bottom of this page.
What is Fettuccine Alfredo?
When we were purchasing ingredients from our local Italian Market in Kelowna, Valoroso Foods, we were surprised to learn that Fettuccine Alfredo, as we know it today, isn’t even Italian. A little history…
Fettuccine Alfredo, also known as pasta al burro e parmigiano, is a traditional Italian pasta dish that originated in Rome. The dish was created by Alfredo di Lelio, an Italian restauranteur, in the early 20th century. According to legend, Di Lelio created the dish as a way to tempt his wife, who had lost her appetite during pregnancy, to eat. He served her a simple dish of pasta tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese, and the dish was a hit.
Di Lelio began serving the dish at his restaurant, Alfredo alla Scrofa, in Rome, and it quickly gained popularity among locals and tourists alike. In 1927, the famous Hollywood couple Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford visited the restaurant and they were so impressed by the dish that they brought the recipe back to the United States, where it became a popular dish in American-Italian cuisine.
In Italy, the dish has undergone many variations over time, but the traditional recipe still remains the most popular. The dish contains only three ingredients, pasta, butter and parmesan cheese, and it is characterized by its simplicity and rich taste.
In North America, however, Alfredo sauce is often made with heavy cream, additional cheese and may include ingredients such as garlic, herbs and is often served with chicken or seafood. The North American version is often considered more rich and creamy than the traditional Italian version.
We also discovered a brand new type of pasta while shopping at Valoroso called Bucatini.
The Secret to the Sauce
Steve insists on only using the best ingredients to make the best Alfredo Sauce.
Use Fresh Garlic
Steve cringes every time I pull the prepared garlic from the fridge. If he’s cooking, only fresh BC Garlic will do, when available.
Use Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano instead of Processed Parmesan
Parmigiano Reggiano and Parmesan are both types of hard, aged cheese that are made from cow’s milk, however, there are some key differences between the two.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a protected designation of origin (PDO) cheese, which means it can only be produced in a specific region of Italy – Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Lombardy and the Venice provinces. It is made from raw milk, and it is aged for a minimum of 12 months. The cheese has a hard, granular texture and a complex, nutty flavor that becomes sharper and more pronounced with age.
Parmesan, on the other hand, is a general term used to describe any cheese that is similar in taste and texture to Parmigiano Reggiano. It can be produced anywhere in the world and can be made from pasteurized milk, and it is aged for a shorter period of time. The texture is less granular and it has a milder flavor.
In other words, Parmigiano Reggiano is the authentic and traditional cheese that can only be produced in a specific region of Italy, whereas Parmesan is a generic term used to describe similar cheeses made anywhere in the world, and it is usually less expensive and milder in flavor.
This difference alone will elevate your Alfredo Sauce to the Best Ever Blackened Chicken Alfredo you have had.
Use Farm Fresh BC Chicken
We love buying local BC Chicken from Johnny’s Fresh Meats and Deli in Kelowna. which is sourced from a family farm in Salmon Arm, BC called FarmCrest.
“We offer Canada’s first verified non-GMO chicken. Our chicken is 100% natural, locally grown on our farm in Salmon Arm. Everything we do at Farmcrest Foods is designed to bring you the freshest, healthiest, best–tasting chicken, just as nature — and our families — intended. Our chickens are raised in a safe, comfortable environment that honours their natural instincts. Our priority is to provide our birds with the highest animal welfare and supply British Columbians with high quality poultry.”
Buying local BC chicken can have several benefits, including:
- Supporting local farmers: By purchasing chicken from local farmers, you are supporting the local economy and helping to sustain small businesses.
- Fresher and healthier: Local chicken is likely to be fresher and healthier than chicken that has been transported long distances.
- Better for the environment: Buying local chicken reduces the amount of fossil fuels used for transportation, thus having a lower environmental impact.
- Knowing where your food comes from: By purchasing chicken from local farmers, you can learn more about how the chicken is raised and what it is fed, providing more transparency in the food system.
- Increased food security: Buying local food can help to build a more resilient food system, by reducing dependence on long-distance food transportation.
Enjoy our Blackened Chicken Alfredo Recipe!
LOCAL BC BUSINESSES WE FEATURED IN THIS RECIPE
Blackened Chicken Alfredo
This creamy and delicious homemade Alfredo Sauce on pasta paired with juicy, spicy blackened chicken is the Best Ever!
- 12 oz Fettuccine or Bucatini Pasta
- 4 Chicken breasts halves
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp Parsley
- 4 Tbsp Blackening Seasoning
- ¼ Cup Butter
- 6 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Cups Whipping cream 30%
- 2 Cups Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Reserve ½ Cup for Garnish)
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Fettucine and cook to al dente as per pasta brand instructions. Drain pasta and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for adjusting consistency of sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, place the chicken breast on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Use the flat side of a mallet to gently pound the chicken until it is roughly ½” thick.
- Place chicken breasts in a baking pan and sprinkle liberally with blackening seasoning. Gently pat and rub the seasoning into the breast until well coated on both sides.
- Pre-heat olive oil over med-high heat in cast iron skillet. Place chicken breast in skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until chicken is golden red in color and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, and loosely cover it with foil. Allow the chicken to rest for a minimum of 5 minutes, while the pasta is prepared.
- In the same skillet, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir for 1 minute, until garlic smells fragrant.
- Add the Cream, Parmigiano Reggiano, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the pan. Whisk for approximately 4 minutes until cheese has fully melted.
- Add the fettuccini to the pan and toss until well coated. Adjust the consistency of the Alfredo sauce if necessary by mixing in small amounts of reserved pasta water, until you have reached the desired consistency.
- Plate the Fettuccini Alfredo and top with ¼” sliced blackened chicken. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1220Total Fat: 81gSaturated Fat: 45gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 310mgSodium: 6263mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 64g