What’s Cookin’ – Chicken Chipotle Alfredo

A few months ago, one of my friends, Teri, sent me a recipe for Chicken Chipotle Alfredo.  It was from one of the food company websites and included all pre-prepared ingredients such as Alfredo Sauce in a jar and pre-cooked chicken breast.

I love peppers and hot and spicy food, so I was interested in the concept of the recipe, but not in using all of the pre-prepared ingredients so I completely re-engineered the recipe.  I’ve made it a few times to get it how I wanted it and served it at a recent pasta dinner for friends and family participating in and supporting the runners of the local 5K cross country kickoff.

Hubby and My Baby the Runner were participating in the race, and I wanted to make sure they were well nourished for the event.  That and it was a good excuse to get together with all of our cross country friends!

They enjoyed this pasta dish, and I hope you do, too.

Chicken Chipotle Alfredo ingredients.

Boil one pound of penne pasta in salted water until cooked al dente.  Be sure to remember to reserve a cup or so of the pasta liquid just in case you need it to thin your sauce.  I like to serve my pasta in a warmed serving dish so I put it into a warmed up oven at this point.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce.  This dish is best served immediately, but it doesn’t take long to put together.  Have all of the ingredients ready to go in advance, and you can get this from stove to table in about 20 minutes.

Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 7 ounce can.  One of many brands available on the market.

Note on the peppers:  Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeño chili peppers in a tangy and slightly sweet red sauce.  They are readily available in grocery stores (I find them in the Mexican food section) and can be added to mayonnaise for a great sandwich spread, in wet rubs, and added to barbecue sauces to add a nice smoky heat.

Puréeing the peppers.

Tip on puréeing the peppers from my friend, Laura –  This recipe only requires 1/3 of a 7-ounce can of peppers.  Purée the entire can, use what you need, and freeze the remainder in plastic bags (I divide into three portions – use one part and freeze two parts).  Thanks Laura!

Gently sauté the garlic and peppers in melted butter for a few minutes.  You do not want to brown or burn the garlic.  Just get it cooked and melded with the butter and peppers before adding the chicken and cream.

Add the cream.

This picture is really not necessary, but I’m working on my photography skills and like the action effect of pouring.  Thanks for understanding. 

Add the grilled chicken.  Cook over medium low heat.  You do not want this to boil or cook over high heat.  You want to heat this until the cream and chicken reach the desired temperature.  Be patient and feel free to taste test at this point.

Note on the chicken:  The recipe calls for 2 cups of grilled chicken.  I grill two chicken breasts, but you can use more or less to your taste or based on what you have on hand.  If you want a good recipe for grilled chicken breast, try Katy’s Favorite Marinated and Grilled Chicken Breast.  You can dice the chicken if you like, but I like to slice it into thin strips.

Add the cooked and drained pasta and cheese to the warmed sauce mixture.

At this point, I usually give it all a big stir and then let it sit for a minute to allow the cheese time to get soft and melt.  If the sauce is too thick, you can use a little of your reserved pasta liquid to thin it.  Then give it another big stir to completely blend the ingredients and pour into your warmed serving dish. 

Serve immediately.

Note on the sauciness of this pasta dish – I like my pasta and sauce a little on the “dry” side.  If you prefer a saucier dish, use a little less pasta or increase the sauce by 1½.

You can also easily half this recipe if you need to make fewer servings.  Unfortunately, pasta in Alfredo sauces do not reheat as well as other pasta dishes.  The goal is to make enough to use up at one meal.

Chicken Chipotle Alfredo ready to eat.  Don’t be afraid of the heat in this dish.  The smokiness of the adobo sauce and the sweetness of the cream provide a nice balance to the flavors of this dish.

Yummy.

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