Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Chicken fettuccine with roasted pecans

My parents went on a Mississippi River cruise earlier this year and delighted in various meals along the route. They came home with several cookbooks from the trip, including Best of the Best from Mississippi. The “best of the best” series publishes favorite recipes from all 50 states. Check out the authors’ Facebook page here.

The Mississippi book is chock-full of terrific recipes that celebrate the state’s seafood, agriculture, and history. I made a list of more than 40 recipes I wanted to try from this book, so my parents let me borrow it for a while. (Thanks, guys!!)  The first thing I made was chicken fettuccine with roasted pecans. It was creamy and crunchy and downright delicious. It was so pretty I put it in an antique serving dish before we dug in!

Chicken fettuccine with roasted pecans

¾ cup margarine, divided

3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 ½ cups sliced green onions

¾ teaspoon salt, divided

½ teaspoon pepper, divided

½ teaspoon garlic powder, divided

10 ounces fettuccine or linguini

2/3 cup half and half

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped pecans, roasted

Melt ¼ cup margarine in a large skillet. Add chicken and sauté until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, green onions, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. While pasta is cooking, melt remaining ½ cup margarine. Combine half and half, parsley, remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix well. Drain pasta and put in a 2-quart dish. Pour margarine mixture into chicken-vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat until thickened slightly. Pour over pasta; top with cheese and roasted pecans. I added some extra parsley, sprinkled across the top. Serve immediately. Yield: 8 servings.