Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chicken Pecan Fettuccine

Pan seared chicken breast in a buttery cream sauce tossed in fettuccine noodles with Parmesan cheese and toasted pecans.

Chicken Pecan Fettuccine

During the Christmas holidays last year, a popular food blogger posted a cranberry sauce recipe that very often, at least down south, has pecans in it, though this midwestern blogger could not understand why anybody would want to do that! Why everybody down south knows why... it's because pecans are good of course! And generally speaking, plentiful around here, though it seems less so these days.

Growing up, I can remember my Mama getting those big ole paper grocery bags from folks on The Point in Biloxi who kept pecan trees and would sell them on the side for some extra Christmas money. The bags would be overstuffed with whole pecans fresh off the tree and just waiting for eager hands to crack them. In fact, so many folks were selling pecans in those days that in order to compete for sales, for a slightly higher cost, you could often find them already cracked. Then all you'd have to do would be to pick them.

Let me tell you though, that cracking is some hard finger work, so naturally Mama took on the brunt of that as we kids, if we even bothered to help at all, quickly got bored. But, seeing as this occurred right before the two major holidays, we knew some goodies would be coming from those pecans - Mama's Finger Cookies, Fresh Apple Cake, and of course, the ultra-famous holiday pastry, Pusharatas, just to name a few!

We do tend to include pecans in many recipes in the south - both sweet and savory - and I suppose in places that many cooks not from the south might indeed find odd. Oh well, just one of our southern quirks I guess, but take my word for it, in this pasta recipe adapted from Southern Living, it really works! Enjoy.

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Recipe: Chicken Pecan Fettuccine

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 30 min |Cook time: 20 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 12 ounces of fettuccine noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons of olive or canola oil
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup of sliced green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of half and half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, or to taste
  • Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1-1/2 cups of the water, and return pasta to pot. In a separate large skillet, melt a tablespoon of butter and add the pecans; toast over medium high heat until crisp and aromatic; set aside for garnish.

Add oil to the skillet over medium high heat and cook chicken until browned. Add to drained pasta and toss. Add the green onion to the skillet and cook until softened; add garlic and cook another minute. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Pour over the drained pasta and toss.

To the skillet, add the butter, half and half, parsley, salt and pepper; warm through. Pour over the hot fettuccine and mix well, adding additional pasta water if too dry. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss. Transfer to a large pasta platter or individual plates and sprinkle with the toasted pecans. Serve immediately.


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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from a Southern Living cookbook recipe
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Posted by on July 29, 2009
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  1. Congratulations on the new baby Mary. Have fun shopping for the new little one--they have such cute little girl clothes--and the tiny shoes!!
    My oh my--that fettucini looks so good. That will definitely go on my to try list.
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Sheila in NC

  2. Oh Mary, My little grandaughter is 5 weeks old this week! It is different having a girl than a boy, but both are so much fun! Congrats to you and your family on this new little darling! Let the shopping begin! :)
    I don't feel old enough to be a grandmother either, so I try not to look in the mirror too often-heheh
    Your fettuccini looks amazing-pecans just put it over the top!I believe pecans will make just about anything better!

  3. Hi Mary,

    Congrats on your granddaughter! I have 2 little girls (and a boy too) and I love it! Girls are so much fun - in a totally different way than my little boy!

    I will say a little prayer tomorrow that all goes well. May your blessings continue!


  4. You are going to have a great time with that grand-gal!

    Just do "you" pronounce pecan...for such a little word there are so many ways to say it.

    I say pah-con
    Texans say bah-con
    Others say pee-con

  5. Hi Gandma Mary!

    Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot of baby pictures and soon. I think starting tomorrow... :-)

    ~ Susan

  6. Thanks y'all! I have been teary all day today - is that not just silly?

    Thanks Tracie - we'll take all those prayers. Those moments during delivery can be so tense when you're in a waiting room waiting!!

    Mostly we say pah-con around here, though I've heard a pee-con/can 'round here a time or two also!

    Oh Susan, I wish ... my son is one of those anti-internet-photo types still so I don't dare post pics of the kids.

  7. OOOHHH a BABY!!! how wonderful is that!
    now that supper looks made my mouth water!

  8. That does look good! Id have to leave the pecans off for my dad.. I think its been so long since he wore his false teeth, he wouldn't be able to find them!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Your blog makes me feel like snacking...

    Congrats on the upcoming baby!! How fun.

  10. Congrats, I know just how you feel! There is nothing better than a new grandchild.
    The recipe looks delicious. My cousin just visited me from Texas and brought me about 15 pounds of pecans from her back yard. I will definitely be using some of them in this recipe.

  11. Congratulations on the new baby granddaughter! How much fun are you gonna have buying clothes for her? A ton, I'm sure.

    Grandchildren are truly a gift from God.

    I'm guessing they live close by?
    How old is your grandson?

    What a joy for you and your family.

    This recipe sounds and looks divine. I cannot wait to try it. I so love pasta. Thanks so much.

    We'll be waiting for the baby pictures!

  12. Congratulations on the new grand baby! Baby girls are so much fun:) Your pasta looks awesome too. I have never had pecans in my pasta but I bet it's delicious!

  13. I've never tried nuts with pasta, it sounds good though. Your picture alone makes me want to try it!

  14. Oh my goodness gracious, Mary!!! This fettucine recipe must be food for the gods (lol) looks so incredibly creamy and yummy! Congrats on the new baby too, what fun you'll have! Roz in SC (bella)

  15. First of all, congratulations on your first granddaughter! How wonderful!

    Your fettucini looks so good! The flavors and textures all sound perfect together. I use a ton of pecans in my baking and sometimes my cooking too. I always sub pecans when a recipe calls for walnuts. They're my favorite.

    Can't wait to hear about the lil' one. Blessings to your family!

  16. We had a pecan grove growing up, and yes, would bring some of the pecans back in big grocery bags, to sell to neighbors and acquaintances. Friends and close neighbors got 5 pounds of shelled pecans...guess who did the shelling and pick-work...*sigh*...I inherited the pecans and have let them just go wild and abandoned, and people go there to gather them in the fall, make a little outing of it...some very poor folks have little gardens at one edge of the grove...I will try your recipe, it sounds so wonderful!

    Congrats on the new granddaughter arriving!!!

  17. Congrats on the new grandbaby!

  18. Congrats again.

    Thanks for giving me a cool recipe to use for pecans besides pecan pie! :) I love pie but I'm always looking for pecan recipes. I live in an area of TX where pecans trees are all over the place. The last house we owned we had about 4/5 pecan trees. :) I'd give them away by the 5 gallon bucket full. :) My grandma decorates cakes with them. Anyway, thanks again for sharing.

    Have a good day.

  19. I LOVE pecans and I grew up in Washington State. Pecans "are" good.
    When I was growing up tho, it was big old gunny sacks of walnuts, that we had to shell. I hated it then, but the memories are great.
    Your fettucini looks good.

  20. LOVE, LOVE pecans. I will be giving this a try. Thanks for coming by for my special SITS day on Tuesday.

  21. I would never have thought to put pecans in with pasta... it sounds really good!

  22. hahaha @ the how 2 pronounce pecan! I am a Texan & I do not say ba con, I say it Pa con, I think it sounds silly saying PEE con roflmbo ;)

  23. This dish was so easy and yummy. I substituted bacon for the pecans and cooked the chicken in the same pan as I cooked the bacon (minus the grease). My husband has requested that this go in the "Duke Family Favorite Cookbook". I have enjoyed your site and look forward to making more of your recipes.

    1. Thank you so much, and that is one substitute I can certainly get behind!! :) So glad y'all enjoyed the recipe!!

  24. Fixed this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Only change I made was to leave out the green onions (husband is not a fan). Thanks for sharing so many yummy recipes!

    1. I'm so glad y'all enjoyed it Elaine - thanks for stopping by to let me know!!


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