Chicken Fettuccine with Tequila-Lime Cream Sauce

7.1.10 § 7 Comments

I honestly can’t remember the last time someone was like, “Hey Tyla, I want to make dinner for you.”  Wait, that’s a lie, Adam Roberts made me dinner not that long ago.  But that’s not the point.  The point is, people don’t cook for me very often (this is probably because I hate not being involved in the cooking process, and I can be pretty annoying in the kitchen when I’m being forced to watch from the sidelines).  So, when my friend Travis rode into town a few nights ago offering to make dinner for me, I put aside my skepticism about his “killer fettuccine with tequila-lime cream sauce” (come on, tequila and cream? together?) and said, “That would be great.”

Travis learned to cook this dish at the restaurant he works at in Colorado, and he was making it mostly from memory with only rough notes to follow.  Consequently, I had to trust that he knew what he was doing.  I did my best to watch passively, but I’m pretty sure I was still annoying:  “Can I please stir it?” “I think the pan has to be hotter to make the tequila flame.” “Don’t you think we should turn the heat down under that cream sauce?” and so on and so forth.

Turns out, my instinct about turning down the heat was correct, but the finished product was still so tasty that I couldn’t resist recreating this dish the next night.   (In all fairness, it was Travis who suggested I make it one more time before posting the recipe.)  While things went a bit more smoothly the second time around, I definitely didn’t have as much fun.

When you read the recipe, you will probably be skeptical about whether or not you want to make this, but trust me, it’s great.  The flavor combinations in the sauce, which includes tequila, cream, soy sauce, and lime juice, are surprising and fresh.  Thanks to Travis for sharing the recipe and for cooking me dinner.  It was definitely a treat.

Chicken Fettuccine with Tequila-Lime Cream Sauce
adapted from Travis’ recipe, which he learned from Sergio Gonzales-Telluride Bistro
serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
½ lb chicken breasts (probably two), shredded with a fork
2 cups tequila
1 cup heavy cream
juice from 3 limes
1/3 cup soy sauce
fettuccine (about 3/4 of a box)
cilantro for garnish

Make sure you have all the chicken and veggies prepped.  Combine the lime juice and soy sauce, set aside.  Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat.  Saute the shallot until clear, stirring pretty often so it doesn’t burn.  Pour the tequila in the skillet and let it flame for a bit.  It won’t flame unless the pan is pretty hot, so if you pour in some and it doesn’t flame, turn up the heat a little and wait a second.  It also helps to pour it in a dry part of the pan.  To extinguish the flames, just blow gently on them (not too hard, don’t blow any of the sauce out onto the stove!).  Next, add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Continue to simmer on low heat until sauce has reduced by 1/3.

Put the butter and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the foam subsides, drop in the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes.  Now add the onion, bell peppers, and about 2/3 of the lime-soy mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Let it cook without stirring too often, you want the veggies and chicken to brown in places.  (I think I cooked mine for about 10 minutes total, stirring only two or three times.)  Meanwhile, cook your pasta in well-salted water until it’s al dente.

When the chicken and veggies look good, taste the cream sauce to make sure it’s seasoned enough, then add it to the other skillet.  Let it simmer until the pasta is done.  Toss pasta with sauce, garnish with cilantro and lime juice, and serve!

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§ 7 Responses to Chicken Fettuccine with Tequila-Lime Cream Sauce

  • sally says:

    This looks yumtastic, I don’t know why you’d be skeptical. Of course, tequila-lime anything is pretty much right up my alley.

  • Mara says:

    mmmm sounds like ALL GOOD THINGS

  • Gin says:

    Holy crap, that looks freaking amazing, and I’m sad that I have to wait until I’m back in the US to make it! Your blog gives me kitchen envy.

  • Erica says:

    Mmmmm all those flavors sounds great, but that flame kind of terrifies me haha. Beautiful pictures!

  • Travis says:

    Gorgeous! Let it be known that all the wonderful pictures were done of Tyla’s incarnation.

    One or two more great things about this dish (not to toot my own horn here. Rightful credit for this mexican/italian/asian mixup goes to Sergio Gonzales of the Telluride Bistro in Telluride, Colorado):

    – fire! (great for the 4th of july). It may look violent, but it’s easy to blow out & won’t set off your smoke alarm. That said, use a pinch of caution.

    – While Tyla’s instructions are incredibly precise and probably quite accurate, just remember the biggest pitfall is skimping on the cream. Also add a dribble of tequila to the soy/lime (which is sort of a basic ponzu, itself great with anything, especially expired fish)

    – Add an orange pepper too. why not.

    – Also works great with shrimp instead of chicken.

  • Tamara says:

    OMG! Sounds amazing. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Travis and Tyla, too. And I agree…how can ANYTHING with tequila and lime in it , NOT be amazing???!!!

  • Carol says:

    I love anything pasta and this was great. I have made it several times now and everyone loves it. I even used chicken bouillon with water to add to the liquid when I didn’t have enough tequila and it was still great

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