OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – This easy, reasonably inexpensive and elegant entree is perfect for Valentine’s Day, or any day you need to impress! Parts may be done ahead, if necessary.
Serves 4, generously. The recipe may be halved.
Blackened Chicken Breasts:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- 1 t smoked paprika
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1/2 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t dried thyme
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/2 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t onion powder
- Combine spices and place on a salad plate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking oil.
- Place a heavy skillet (I prefer cast iron) on high heat on stovetop – it will need at least five minutes to become really hot.
- Rub chicken breasts with olive oil. Dredge in spice mixture until covered.
- Place in hot pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until seasoning has blackened. Flip and repeat process.
- Transfer blackened breasts to bakery sheet and place in oven. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork. May be done in advance – refrigerate breasts.
Pasta with Alfredo Sauce:
- 1 lb pasta of choosing. (Traditionally fettuccini, I prefer penne)
- 1/2 C heavy cream
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 C fresh grated Parmesan + additional for garnish Pinch nutmeg Pepper to taste
- 3 T fresh, chopped parsley
- Cook 1 lb pasta in salted, boiling water. Drain. If preparing in advance, lightly toss in olive oil, cover and refrigerate.
- In a heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, combine butter and heavy cream, whisking until melted and smooth. Add Parmesan; continue whisking until smooth and combined. Add nutmeg, parsley and pepper.
- Toss pasta in hot sauce until evenly coated. Transfer to bowl or plate. Place blackened breast (sliced or whole) atop the pasta and sauce.
- Garnish with additional fresh, grated Parmesan.
- Serve immediately