Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Who needs Olive Garden?

Mr. Bacon and I love Italian food.  One of our favorite places to go is Olive Garden.  We use to go there a lot in our pre-kid days.  When Bacon Jr was little it was one of his favorite places to go, we even had a full cupboard of Olive Garden kids cups!  But there is no way I want to attempt to take 4 kids out there now, and I couldn't imagine the cost of that bill!  Those were also the days before we learned how much we wasted money on things we 'though' we needed.  I'm happy to have those days behind us!  I love Chicken Alfredo. It's one of my favorite things to eat.  So I was very happy when I found this recipe!  Want some amazing Italian food without the restaurant price and hassle?  I thought so! 

Chicken Alfredo:
1 lb chicken breast- cut up
2 cups broccoli - thawed or raw cut into small pieces
3/4 box fettuchini noodles

Sauce:
1 stick butter
1-8oz cream cheese (low fat is ok!)
2 tsp chopped garlic (I use heaping tsp but we like garlic)
2 cups milk
6oz grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp pepper

First get your water boiling for your noodles, cook them according to the package. Now you want to get the sauce going.  I use a small pot for this.  Add the butter, cream cheese and garlic to the pot.  Set on the stove on low heat and allow it to melt.  You don't want this to be cooked on high heat or it will burn.  Once that is melted it will look quite lumpy, don't panic it's suppose to be like that.  I use a whisk to mix it good.  Then slowly add in the milk while mixing.  This will smooth out the lumps into a creamy sauce!  Add in the pepper and cheese and allow it to cook on low or med low heat.  The Parmesan cheese takes some time to melt down so I like to start this right away and let it warm on low heat while I cook everything else. 

Next take your cut chicken and saute it in 1-2 TBSP oil and your favorite seasoning. I use Mrs. Dash garlic and herb for this recipe. 
When the chicken has been cooking for about 5 min on med heat, add the broccoli to it.  This will cook it but hopefully not make it too mushy. Continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.  I was going to take a picture of this.  But as you can see we were a little busy. Sister in law Bacon was here to play with the kids and we decided to make some fun cookies!
When the noodles are tender, drain them.
When the chicken is cooked, add the Alfredo sauce to the chicken. 
Next take the biscuits out of the oven.  Yes you can't have chicken Alfredo without some biscuits or bread sticks!  Remember this recipe?!
Now find a big dish.  I used a 9x13 pan.  This pictures looks like it's going to over flow, but don;'t worry, I made a batch and a half when I cooked this time. 
Ahhh... savor the aroma.  I love this stuff so much it's making my mouth water for some. Too bad we dont' have any leftovers anymore.  You have successfully made an amazing Italian meal at home for a fraction of the cost of going out to eat.  And you don't have to be embarrassed about how you kids act while you eat it!  Enjoy!

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