Today we are going to spend some time in the Keto kitchen, well truth be told it’s a semi-keto kitchen these days LOL. You know I fell off the bandwagon in 2020, but I’m slowly working my way back to the fold. This recipe is an easy recipe that can totally be full-on keto or non-keto, depending on where you are on your journey. It’s definitely a great meal to have in your busy professional wheel-house.
Anywho, today I am going to share with you a new Club Keto recipe that you will absolutely love! It’s quick, easy, kid-friendly and economical. There are a ton of variations you can make to fit your lifestyle and it is capital D Delicious!
Before I jump into the nitty-gritty, if you are interested in starting a ketogenic lifestyle, I encourage you to jump over to Club Keto. It is our community of individuals living a ketogenic lifestyle. It provides you with all the lessons learned during my original dirty-keto journey as well as recipes and other great resources. This resource is part of Organized Academy, but it is also a standalone resource that you can purchase. I encourage you to definitely check it out if you want to go deeper.
Now, onto the recipe…
This recipe was inspired by a local family-style restaurant called Demo’s. If you are ever in the Middle Tennessee area, I recommend you check them out. Anyway, they have a blackened chicken pasta on their menu that is to die for. For years, I’ve wanted to recreate it at home but couldn’t find a recipe that I felt did it justice.
After a recent trip to the restaurant, I was determined to recreate it on my own. I believed the base of the sauce was alfredo sauce, so I just needed to conquer the blackened chicken part of it. After tasting the sauce over and over again, I felt it reminded me of a Tuscan chicken recipe I had prepared before, so I basically created my recipe by blending a Tuscan chicken recipe with an alfredo sauce recipe. Note: I removed some things that didn’t sit well with the blackened chicken pasta recipe (Spinach and dijon mustard), but these items could be added for a different take on the overall dish.
Obviously, I have become a teacher’s aid as my daughter navigates virtual learning so I thought I’d take a page out of their book and provide you with your materials list to ensure you have everything you need before you get started.
There’s nothing worse than starting to cook something to realize you don’t have everything you need. Make sure you read through the full materials list before you start cooking. There are a number of decision points you will need to make along the way. I have also provided you with what I’d like to think is helpful information too.
- Deep Skillet or Pan
- Soft tip wooden or plastic spoon/spoontula so you don’t scratch your pan
- Aluminum foil and paper towel for draining your chicken
- Sides – green beans, potatoes or salad (not covered in instructions but something to think about if you are making this for dinner.
- Tasting spoon – you always should taste your sauce without double-dipping
Blackened Chicken Ingredients:
- Family pack of chicken thighs (bone-in with skin)
- Roma, cherry or 5 oz jar of sundried tomatoes (to taste)
- 1/3 – 3/4 cup white chopped onion or shallots (to taste)
- 6 garlic cloves or 2 tbsps
- 2 tsps italian seasoning
- Adobe seasoning (optional)
- Olive oil
Note 1: You can use whatever part of the chicken you’d like. I choose thighs because they tend to be juicier. They are also a nice serving size of meat. I used bone-in/Skin-on chicken, but you can use boneless skinless chicken of your choice as well.
Note 2: Tomatoes can be added or removed. Just make sure if using roma you dice them into medium chunks, cherry just quarter them and the sundried can remain as is.
Note 3: Onion can be added or removed. If added, you want them to be part of every bite, but you don’t want it to overwhelm the dish.
Alfredo Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1TBSP butter
- 6 minced garlic cloves (or 2 tbsps garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Note: you can cut this recipe in half or double it depending on the number in your household or if you want leftover sauce. For my family of three, I double it. So we have enough not only for the meal but also for leftovers and lunches.
Step 1: Turn your stove on to medium heat and pour olive oil in the bottom of the pan (if using sundried tomatoes you can use the oil from the jar). You are only adding enough to brown the meat. You can always add more later.
Step 2: Open the chicken package and season meat with salt, pepper, paprika and adobo. I typically season one side outside the pan then once in the pan I season the other side but do what feels comfortable to you.
Step 3: Place the meat in the heated skillet and brown on both sides (usually takes 6 – 8 minutes on each side). Don’t rush it, just let them cook. I’ve learned over time that if you try to move them before they are done, the skin will stick to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4: Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and drain. You are free at this point to place the chicken in the oven to continue cooking on a low temp, but it isn’t required. It depends on whether you feel your chicken is internally done or not.
Step 5: You are now going to remove most of the excess oil from the pan, leaving only enough to saute your onions. Do Not Rinse the pan. The stuff you see on the bottom of it is golden!
Step 6: Add your butter and onions to the pan and let them cook for 30 seconds until they begin to get translucent. If you have fresh garlic, you can add this in as well. Once your onions are translucent you will add a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help with deglazing your pan. You will also add in your garlic powder here if you are using that instead of fresh garlic, your tomatoes and also your italian seasoning. Keep stirring the ingredients to get all the bits off the bottom of the pan.
Step 7: Add heavy cream and bring everything to a gentle simmer. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until it begins to thicken and reduces by 1/3. Then reduce temp to low.
Step 8. Gradually whisk in the parmesan cheese. Make sure to keep whisking the sauce until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. You don’t want clumpy sauce. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
At this point, you can add the chicken directly to the sauce, or you can just pour the sauce over the chicken. Dinner is served, assuming you have finished all your other sides lol.
Creating a Keto Side
When I made this dish we just had a side of green beans. We buy our green beans at Sam’s. They are whole green beans that come in the frigerated section. You can get frozen green beans from your local grocery store too. Place the bag in the microwave following the directions on the bag. Remove the green beans and place them in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil over them and add garlic powder (or salt), salt and pepper to taste. Toss until they are seasoned to your liking.
You could also have it with smashed cauliflour (see Club Keto for the recipe) or a salad. If you aren’t making this keto style, feel free to bake a potato or cook some pasta to put the chicken and sauce over. If you plan to do that you might consider using chicken breasts instead and cube it for easier layering over pasta or the potato.
As you can see, this recipe is so versatile. You can adapt and use it in many different ways. It would also be a great dish to make in bulk for a big family event. Granted, I don’t see too many of those in our near future, but hopefully you will have it down pat by the time the next dinner party comes around.
Storing Your Leftovers
If you are prepping your lunch, you can store the chicken and the right amount of sauce together. As it is better to determine this amount when the sauce is in liquid form.
If you plan to use the sauce separately, I’d recommend storing it in portions as it can be hard to measure out when it is solidified. So, for example, Create your lunch portion(s) in a container. Then store enough for your pasta sauce together in a bowl.
When warming up you may need to add a tablespoon or more of cream to the bowl to ensure it warms up properly and/or to stretch the sauce a little more. As I stated, it is so versatile that the possibilities are endless.
Share Your Dishes
As always, I’d love for you to share your experiences and photos of this recipe with me and any variances you made along the way. If you run into any problems or have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments as well. It’s always helpful to see the experiences of others when embarking on a new recipe.