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Chicken and Mushroom Tagliatelle

Chicken and Mushroom Tagliatelle

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Serves 6 to 8.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

This recipe started out as a simple explanation for making a basic white sauce—and then expanding it into a meal. White sauces are used in many dishes. Once you learn the simple techniques, you can create a variety of meals.

Ingredients:

For the Cream Sauce:
12 tablespoons (6 ounces/170g) whole butter
2 cups (473ml) heavy cream
Optional: ¼ cup (60ml) dry sherry or dry white wine
Freshly grated white pepper to taste
About ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt to taste
2 ounces (57g) freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
For the Pasta:
1½ to 2 pounds (630 to 907g) flat noodles such as tagliatelle or fettuccine (or make your own from scratch—there is a recipe for Pasta From Scratch on my web site)
For the Chicken and Mushrooms:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 dozen medium mushrooms, sliced
3 to 4 chicken thighs (you can use 2 large chicken breasts) totaling about 1½ pounds (630g) meat only, cut into bite-sized pieces.
Optional: ¼ cup (60ml) dry sherry
¼ teaspoon ground oregano
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.

Directions:

For the Cream Sauce:

Melt the butter in a large skillet and then whisk in the heavy cream. Optional: Add the dry sherry or white wine. Season with white pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Heat to a boil and then remove from the heat. Lightly stir in the grated cheese—do not stir too much or the cheese will melt and become stringy. Set aside. The sauce will be thickened in a later step.

For the Chicken and Mushrooms:

Start water heating in a large pot (for the noodles).

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the mushrooms until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Sauté the chicken with the sherry just until cooked—do not brown—and the liquid is nearly all evaporated. Return the mushrooms to the skillet and add the cream sauce. Add the lemon juice, which will lightly thicken the sauce by slightly curdling the heavy cream. Adjust for salt.

Boil the noodles according to package directions. If using fresh pasta, cook 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and plate. Spoon plenty of the chicken and mushroom cream sauce over the noodles. Garnished with additional grated cheese at the table, if desired.