Many of you know my son just celebrated his golden birthday. He turned 17 on the 17th. Such an occasion demanded his choice of an indulgent meal consisting of spicy and creamy Blackened Chicken Alfredo (with a favorite Virginia Chardonnay from Prince Michel for his dad and I).
To be perfectly honest I’ve only had Blackened Chicken Alfredo out (via stolen bites off my son’s plate) at Red Lobster. They call it Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo though. Yes, you know I also had to make the requisite Cheddar Bay Biscuits for this feast too. Thankfully recreating this meal at home was not nearly as challenging as I had originally expected. Chardonnay glass in hand (metaphorically, as it was 9 AM), I set out to make the perfect spice mix and marinade.
By the way, this blackened chicken spice mix doesn’t have to be paired with Fettuccini Alfredo. You could easily and just as happily make the chicken as a stand alone item with a side of broccoli. Dice up the chicken and place it on a bed of salad and drizzle the bowl with a cooling ranch would be another healthy and simple alternative. You can even eat the chicken as a sandwich with a piece of cheddar, lettuce leaf and sliced tomato. Heck, you could even use the spice mix on pork or the originally intended fish! Really, there are endless possibilities!
How to Blacken Your Chicken Without Burning It
No, blackened chicken doesn’t have much to do with overcooking. Its all about the spice mix and how it coats the meat. There is also butter involved (although I use olive oil in my marinade). Blackening spice usually consists of a mixture of thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper, salt, garlic, and onion. Traditionally, people would blacken their fish by dipping the protein in butter, and dredging in a variation of this spice mix before cooking it in a cast iron skillet. My husband and son don’t eat fish (this should explain why the few times we have gone to Red Lobster they get pasta). I always get fish in as many forms as possible. At home, I make chicken.
FYI–Blackening Spice isn’t usually as salty or spicy as Cajun seasoning, nor is it at herbal as Creole seasoning. My son and I use Cajun seasoning all the time here–almost as a salt. MMMM MMMM its good!
Wine Pairing with Blackened Chicken Alfredo
We paired our Blackened Chicken Alfredo with Chardonnay. As a red wine drinker, I knew I had to change up my go to choice. Chardonnay all the way. A full bodied, creamy and buttery Chardonnay at that. Other whites to try include Pinot Grigio and Viognier. Pinot Grigio is an italian white that’s acidic and crisp, thus cutting the fat. A dry and full-bodied Viognier would also match beautifully.
Even though we chose Chardonnay, you can go red. Because of the method of cooking the chicken, you could try a light and fruity Pinot Noir or an Italian Barbera, where the acidity would cut through the creaminess.
Our choice was Prince Michel 2015 Barrel Select Chardonnay from Leon, Virginia. This wine is a favorite here at home because it is smooth, not overly oaky, and the cream and acidity are nicely balanced. It has a fruity aroma of apples and pears, hints of nutty stone fruits, with notes of smoke and vanilla on the palate.
Blackened Chicken Alfredo
blackening spice mix
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 cup worchestershire sauce
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken breasts tenders
- 1 pound fettuccini pasta
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups heavy or whipping cream
- 1 cup parmesan grated
- 1 tsp basil or parsley or italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
for blackened chicken
- In a large zip top bag, measure out spices. To make into a marinade, add the worchestershire sauce and olive oil. Mix and add in chicken pieces. Make sure all protein is covered in marinade. Seal and place on plate in refridgerator for 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 450F. Cover rimmed sheet pan with foil and lay pieces of chicken out in a single layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Chicken is done at 165F internal temperature.
for fettuccini Alfredo
- While pasta is cooking, make sauce. Melt butter and cream cheese with garlic over medium heat in a medium skillet for 3 minutes. When butter has melted, add in cream and whisk. Cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in parmesan, reduce heat to low, and whisk until cheese is smooth and melted. Add basil and pepper.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add entire pan of alfredo sauce. Thin with reserved water if it is too thick (or if you used too much cheese). Slice chicken and add to pan of sauced pasta. Gently stir together. Place onto plates and garnish with basil, parsley, or more cheese.