Thursday, 26 January 2012

Zucchini Spaghetti with Chicken in Cream Sauce

Why am I so effin' hungry lately?  Hungry, headachy, achy, crappy, really.  Ok, achy because I keep hurting myself.  But we'll talk about that one later.  I think the body wants carbs.  Not grains, heck no, but 1 1/2 fruit a day just ain't cuttin' it, and neither is a handfull of nuts.  (Though that half cup of homemade coco cashew butter did it--but let's not do that one again or I will grow some cottage cheese thighs, ok?)  Pardon me while I go pop a B vitamin and hope that makes it all better. 

Anywhooo, many years ago, when I was in college in the little town of Lindsay, they had this awesome and corny restaurant called the Grand Experience and they made the best fettuccine Alfredo "Grand Style" ever--with deli ham and green peas and fresh tomato.  Everywhere I travelled around the province after that had me tasting fettuccine Alfredo in every tiny little mom-and-pop restaurant in every backwoods town.  (BTW, Wiarton used to have an awesome little place that not only did a great alfredo, but escargot as well... but I haven't been there in forever.)  So it spawned a love of fettuccini alfredo that came to a grinding hault when I became lactose intolerant.  Oh, how I missed it.  It wasn't the noodles I missed, but the silky, creamy texture. 

I found the original recipe idea for this on Family Living Simple, and I'm sure to adapt it again and again until I can make it "Grand Style" just like I remember (without the gut explosion that would surely come from that now).  So here's where it's at right now--

Serves about 5


1 1/2 lbs chicken, light or dark, de-boned and cut up into small pieces
fat of your choice for poaching with chicken--I used chicken fat
3-4 zucchini
1/2 large spanish onion, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs butter
1 can coconut milk
1-2 tbs arrowroot powder, dissolved in a bit of water
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp mustard powder
red pepper flakes, to taste


Do you have a mandolin yet?  Because you should.  It's really important.  Set the blades to cut the zucchini into really thin noodles--as thin as you can go, really.  Cut up all the zucchini and set on paper towels, add some sea salt to help dry them out a bit so they don't cook all soggy. 

Next, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, fat, and broth, then cover and simmer chicken until cooked through.  Move chicken to a plate and turn the heat down to medium.  Put the onions in the pan, stirring, until they become translucent and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Then add your garlic (not whole, silly--through a garlic press!)  And stir just until you begin to smell it cooking.  Now add your coconut milk and bring it to a slow simmer.  Now add your spices and pepper and salt.

Once it's simmering a bit, begin to add your arrowroot and water mixture, stirring it in and letting it thicken the sauce.  If you over-thicken it a little, that's ok, because the zucchini will thin it back dow a little bit.  But get it thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Add your zucchini and chicken to the sauce and heat through, stirring frequently, just until zucchini is hot and beginning to soften.  Don't let it go soggy.

Serve, and add more nutmeg and red pepper flakes if you think that's necessary. 

If you're feeling fancy, garnish with green onions and chopped fresh tomatoes.  One day, I will get it perfect, and rename it Zoodle Alfredo "Grand Style".  But not yet.  It's very tasty, don't get me wrong, but not quite like the "Grand Style" I remember just yet.....

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