I have a confession to make. I love cooking with three things: cheese, bacon, and wine. When I can combine the three, it’s even better. Recently we went to the store and picked up some bacon for Pat’s homemade dog treats. He ended up making 3 batches of them and we still had about 6 strips left over. I told him not to use them (or eat them). After looking at his expression, you’d think that it was Christmas morning and I just told him that he wasn’t getting any presents. Seriously. It was that pathetic.
I get where he’s coming from, though. Bacon is delicious meat candy and should be plentiful all the time. There is no room for debate on this. It is a fact. Restricting such a delicate treat is just plain mean. I guess that makes me just plain mean. Oh well. It adds to my loverly charm most days.
In my defense, the following dinner more than made up for any losses or grievances he had to suffer.
The other evening we did our nightly “What do you want for dinner? I don’t know! What do you want for dinner?” dance and I thought to myself, we have the trifecta. Bacon. Cheese (delicious smoked gouda and asiago). Champagne. Just add some chicken and pasta and we’d be set! I had the finished dish in my head, now I only had to assemble it. (/cue the dramatic “dun dun daaaaah” music)
(Also I will apologize in advance, I didn’t remember to take any “in-process” pictures. /slaps wrists. I’ll do better next time. Hopefully.)
This dish is fairly simple and only requires two pots so cleanup is fairly easy, too. (/HIGHFIVE!) For the hardware of this dish you’ll need: a large pot (to boil your pasta) and a large saute pan as well as a cutting board, knife (DON’T CUT YOURSELF KIDS), garlic press (optional), and pasta strainer/colander. Oh, and as a handy life note for kitchen accessories – those $5 microwavable bacon plates that you can pick up at your local supermarket are well worth the investment. It’s the only way that I can successfully cook bacon without setting off the smoke alarm.
The key to this dish is cooking the chicken in the champagne and herbs, covered. It will stay nice and juicy. It is definitely worth a trip to your local BoozeMart for a bottle of champagne too. And whatever you don’t use for cooking purposes – you can drink!
- 8 chicken tenders (or 4 chicken breasts)
- 4 cups of champagne (3 cups +1 cup)
- 3 tbsp. of butter
- ½ onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 2 tbsp. of sweet basil
- 2 tsp. of ginger powder
- ½ tsp. of nutmeg
- 1 tsp. of white pepper
- 1 tsp. of sugar (optional)
- Cornstarch Slurry (2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 tsp. water)
- 1 cup of shredded smoked gouda
- 1 cup of shredded asiago
- 6 slices of cooked bacon (roughly chopped)
- Fettuccine Noodles
- In a large saute pan, on medium heat, add butter to melt. While that’s melting, slice up your onion and add it to the pan. Let the onion sweat till almost translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add minced garlic, ginger powder, and nutmeg and stir till mixed. (In a large pot boil some water for the pasta)
- Lightly sear the chicken breasts on both sides (about 2 minutes a side).
- Add 3 cups of champagne and sweet basil. Cover with a lid and let it be for 10 minutes.Flip the chicken at the 5 minute mark. (Add the pasta to the boiling water)
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set to the side.
- Add the cornstarch slurry, white pepper, sugar, pepper, and remaining champagne to the saute pan.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add in about 95% of the cheese (keep the remainder for garnish). Stir till everything is combined, melted, and smooth.
- Add the chicken and chopped bacon back into the saute pan. Turn down to simmer and cover while you drain the pasta and give it a good rinse.
- Toss the pasta in the saute pan and combine.
- Plate, garnish with the remaining cheese or bacon crumbles, and dive in.