Bacon Fat Chicken Alfredo
I absolutely love alfredo sauce. It’s so creamy and rich and probably quite fattening but if you make them at home, you can control the fat content a bit and use fat-free evaporated milk and/or reduced milk as well. It saves you some calories and you won’t notice a difference, especially with this recipe. It’s packed with all kinds of goodies, starting with the chicken breasts cooked in bacon fat. Yes, you are saving some calories with the milks but I’m sure the bacon fat will even out the calories in the end. Sorry! There’s also some bacon crumbles, cherry tomatoes and peas to lighten it up as well so in the end, it’s probably a healthier version, even with the bacon fat. See, it all works out!
Preparing the sauce itself is quick and simple but there is a bit of prep work for this recipe. But I think it still passes for a weeknight dinner. Plus, it tastes fantastic as leftovers when you bring them to work the next day. I’m sure your coworkers would be dying to steal a bite from you.
Bacon Fat Chicken Alfredo (adapted from RecipeGirl):
Yields 4 servings
- 16 ounces fettuccine (I used this garlic basil linguine I found from Trader Joe’s, which worked out quite well)
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 4 boneless, skinless thin sliced chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 (12 ounce) can fat-free evaporated skim milk, warmed (I used half-and-half)
- 1/2 cup 2% milk, warmed, plus more for thinning
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup cooked peas
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the bacon fat.
Add the chicken to the skillet with the reserved bacon fat and cook, in two batches, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and let cool; cut into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Whisk in the flour and red pepper flakes until the flour is lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in both the evaporated and 2% milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; reduce heat to a simmer.
Whisk in the Parmesan, salt and pepper until the sauce has begun to thicken, about 3 minutes. Add more milk as needed to loosen.
Add the pasta, bacon, chicken, tomatoes and peas and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan.
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