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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken

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I love 💗Pappardelle pasta. Those wide pasta noodles grab onto the sauce really well. For my Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken, I start is with the chicken.

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Colander-Style Spoon

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Heavy Cream

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Bechamel Sauce

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Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (1)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep time: 10 minutes (make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and measured in advance ex., cheese grated, and the chicken seasoned)
Cook time: 47 minutes (time may vary depending on the amount of chicken)
Total Time: 57 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: Cast iron skillet, 6-quart saucepot, 3-quart saucepot, deep-sided frying pan, 10-cup food processor, large oven-safe serving platter,

Ingredients:
8 chicken cutlets, 1/4-inch thick
4 tablespoons of olive oil
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 package (1 pound) of Pappardelle (substitute Fettuccine)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus (blanched and cut on the bias into 2-inch pieces), optional
1/4 cup of blackened seasoning
2 cups of whole milk, *scalded
1 cup of heavy cream, *scalded
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, freshly grated
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cups of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (substitute 2 tablespoons dried)

Directions:
Sprinkle the blackened seasoning on both sides of the chicken cutlets.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet over medium heat melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Start with 3 cutlets in the skillet, cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. You want to make sure they are cooked all the way through. Some of the cutlets may be slightly thicker so those may need a little longer in the skillet. Once the first batch is finished, slice the chicken on the bias, and transfer to an oven-safe platter. Repeat the process two more times until the remaining chicken cutlets are cooked and sliced. 

Note: Cover with the platter foil, place it into a 225-degrees F. oven to keep chicken warm while finishing the remaining chicken cutlets.

Next,  is to *blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for just a minute or two. Using a large hand-held strainer or slotted spoon, transfer the blanched asparagus right into a bowl ice water to shock them and stop their cooking. Once the asparagus has cooled down, remove the asparagus from the water and slice the spears on the bias, 2 inches in length. Set aside.

In a saucepot over medium heat bring the milk/cream mixture to a near boil, better known as *scalded milk.

The next step is to make the bechamel sauce.

In a large deep-sided pan over low heat melt 4 tablespoons of butter, add the flour and whisk together to form a *roux. Once the butter/flour mixture forms a smooth paste, around 3 to 4 minutes. Be sure to reach into the corners of the pan the prevent the paste from scorching. The key is you want to cook the raw smell out of the flour but you don’t want the flour and butter to brown in the process. You’re looking for a white *roux.

Slowly add the hot milk and cream mixture whisking the whole time. Slowly pour with one hand while whisking with the other. Once all the milk’s been added it usually seems as thin as plain milk. Add freshly grated nutmeg, garlic powder, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.

Bring the milk/cream up to a gentle simmer, whisking frequently, until the sauce is the consistency you want, around 10 minutes.

Note: Take a spoon and dip it into the bechamel sauce. Draw a line down the back of the spoon with your finger. If the sauce stays separated then the bechamel is done.

Off the heat, switch to a wooden spoon, add the grated cheese and stir until all the cheese is combined.

At this point the Alfredo sauce and chicken are done, next, is to cook the pasta.

While making the Alfredo sauce, have a large saucepot of salted boiling water ready on the back burner. Now all you need to do is to cook the pasta (Pappardelle or Fettuccine) according to package instructions. Do Not discard any of the pasta water.

Note:  If the sauce needs thinning out ladle small amounts of the starchy pasta cooking water and toss. Add the pasta water only after you’ve combined the pasta and sauce.
Reserve the rest of the hot pasta water on the back burner.

After I’ve tossed the pasta through and made any adjustments needed to the sauce, add the blanched asparagus tips into hot the pasta water to heat through before adding it to the finished Pappardelle Alfredo, toss to combine.

Finish the dish by arranging the sliced blackened chicken on top. Garnish with fresh parsley. This dish is so delicious and comforting that I’m sure once you try it, you’ll be making Pappardelle Alfredo With Blackened Chicken again and again.

Serve immediately.

*Blanch: Blanching (scalding vegetables in boiling salted water for a short time) cleanses the surface of dirt and organisms, brightens the color and helps retain the vitamins. Transfer the blanched vegetables into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and lock in the color.

*Roux: A mixture of flour and butter (or fat) used to thicken sauces.

*Scalded Milk: Is milk heated to a near boil. Small bubbles will appear around the rim of the pot when the milk is just under the boiling point.

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Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders

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Is it just me, or doesn’t everybody love a great meatball? I brought these Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, need I say more? Simmered low and slow, my tomato sauce is delicious. The star of the show is my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

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fresh basil

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Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 24 meatballs (golf size)
Equipment: 6-quart Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, food processor, large mixing bowl, 2-ounce cookie dough scoop, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients For Sauce:
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, purèed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 cup of unsalted chicken broth
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves

Ingredients For Meatballs:
2 1/2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 diced finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
24 1/4-inch diced (low-moisture) whole milk Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 12-ct packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Directions:
Set the stove to medium, add olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes. Next, add diced onion and minced garlic, stirring frequently, cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Add the unsalted chicken broth. Bring the broth up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. These peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, reduce the heat to low and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. While the sauce is simmering, start on the stuffed meatballs.

First, add olive oil to a sautè pan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, sautè until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together, add the ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

Next, dice the mozzarella cheese into 24 1/2-inch cubes. Using a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop (2-ounce portion), scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

At the same time, the sauce is simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After the 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

Simmer the meatballs, in the sauce, for another hour. Turn the heat to off and add in some freshly torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half filling each with one with a Mini Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious sliders to any party, or just have them at home. You won’t be able to eat just one.

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