This meal is both easy and decadent. It does take a good amount of time, mostly because I cook my chicken from frozen (in the deep freezer), but it’s a fairly hands-off cooking process. It’s not something we cook more than once per month in my family, but reserve as a special treat because it is very high in fat. That being said, it is of course delicious and my new favorite meal, ever since I learned to make it last month. This month, I perfected the recipe and altered it to use my new favorite appliance, the Instant Pot. Now it’s even easier, and more delicious, and I just had to share it!
Total Time: 45 minutes
½ lb uncooked fettuccine pasta
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon chicken base, or 1 cup chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups Italian blend of cheeses (such as parmesan, romano, and mozzarella)
Place chicken breasts directly in the inner cooking pot of the instant pot. Add chicken base with 1 cup water, or 1 cup of chicken broth. Add garlic for additional flavor, if desired. Hint: I’ve recently added a garlic press to my kitchen arsenal, and I can’t believe I didn’t buy one sooner. It makes adding garlic to my dishes SO much faster and easier.
Close the lid and move the vent to sealing, then cook on manual (high pressure) for 15 minutes, for deeply frozen chicken; 10 minutes for normally frozen chicken; or 8 minutes for fresh chicken. After cooking, allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes before opening. Check the temperature of the chicken, ensuring it has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, cook for an additional 5 minutes and do a quick release.
While chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Strain, and toss with butter. Hint: Take a small slice of butter from the stick you will be using for the sauce. Also, I recommend leaving the pasta in the strainer, so you can re-use the pot to cook the sauce.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the cream and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat, and whisk in the cheese. Don’t worry if sauce seems thin while it’s cooking. It will thicken by the end!
After the chicken has cooked, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Add the chicken and cooked pasta to the sauce, and mix well before serving. Hint: a pasta ladle is extremely useful for this.
Serve with steamed green beans or a fresh salad to complete the meal, and enjoy!