Chicken Pecan Fettuccine is a special meal with a special story!
So I asked on Facebook this morning if anyone had any suggestions on things they’d like me to write about and I got some great ideas, thank you! One of them was a lady who wanted to know how my husband and I met. I replied that how we met was so bad that we usually lie to people about it. Not embellish, but flat out lie, so I thought it might be a good story to tell.
I think some of what brought this curiosity on was me mentioning in my video yesterday that I had completely given up hope of dating or getting married by the time I was in my mid twenties and chose my college major with that in mind so that I would be able to support myself.
So I quit my full time job at twenty something and moved into a college dorm at The University of North Alabama. However, the college dorm experience didn’t last the semester because I was in a very different place in my life than most girls living in that dorm. While I was trying to get some sleep for tests and studying the following day, they were jamming in at all hours from nights out at the local club. Note to future students: Dorms are either exactly where you want to be or exactly where you don’t want to be, depending on your priorities. No judgement here, just putting this out there.
I moved into my grandparent’s basement, who lived about 45 minutes away. Grandaddy used to call me “his little basement rat”. 🙂
Most of my classes were on campus but a few were video classes. Back then that meant you checked out a big bag of vhs tapes from the library and watched them at home, then turned in your assignments at school.
Now younguns, yes, the internet existed back then. This was the nineties. It existed, but not quite to the extent that it does now. It was still something of a novelty to get to talk to people from all around the world on message boards and such. There was a program called ICQ that was all the rage, a cooler precursor to Skype and Facebook messenger. Yes, even now it stands up as cooler… Back then, Yahoo had chat rooms but they were very general. So one Friday night, I went into a chat room to talk to folks. This was the extent of my social interaction back then. Come to think of it, not much has changed. 🙂 The chat rooms were divided by regions and the closest region to me was Atlanta.
Ricky (my husband) came in and said “Does anyone like Nascar?”
I didn’t know squat about Nascar and it speaks to the engagement level of those in the room that this one statement stood out to me as the most promising for a conversation. I had been to a few races with friends at Huntsville Motor Speedway. I never actually watched the races, but sat there and talked instead and it had been a somewhat fun experience so I chimed in with something demur and not at all misleading such as “I love going to races!” and we were off.
Note: to this day, I have never, in the decades of being together, watched a race with him, attended a race with him, or remained in the room longer than two and a half minutes when anyone starts talking about anything to do with racing. So, yes, our entire relationship is based on a lie.
He was a college student at the time as well, only he was about to graduate whereas I was really just starting off. We chatted for a good bit that night about school, the states we live in, family, etc. I don’t know when we talked next but it became a regular thing, he and I sitting at home chatting on our computers about randomness. After a few months, I gave him my phone number and we talked on the phone. After six months, we both realized that our lives were kinda getting complicated because we were beginning to think of this person we had never met as a little more than a friend.
He wanted to meet.
I did not.
I decided he was so nice on the phone that if we met in person he either wouldn’t like me or would prove to be a jerk and that would be the end of it. And I actually liked him and I didn’t want him to turn into a jerk and in my mind the only way to prevent that was by not meeting him. It made perfect sense to me.
So, on Valentine’s day nearly two decades ago he called me and said he was driving down to take me out that evening.
My response was a word that is no longer in my vocabulary and could never be construed as ladylike. He was four hours away and would only be here for two hours before he turned around to drive back home. I had few options.
So I did what any Southern gal would do, I applied more makeup, tried on five different outfits, and teased my hair out as big as I could in order to make my face look skinnier. :).
Shortly before I was supposed to leave to meet him (in a well lit, public place, with a friend, because anyone you met online was most assuredly an ax murderer, even if you had talked to them for six months and they were about to graduate with highest honors from engineering school in the next state), I realized I needed to bake something so I whipped up some brownies real quick. They only had time to get half done so I slathered on some icing, covered the still warm pan in foil, and took off.
When I pulled into the parking lot, he got out and walked over to me with the biggest smile I’d ever seen.
I rolled down the window just enough for the dish to fit through and shoved a pan of half baked brownies in his face.
We were married six months later.
Mama told Daddy we’d met through friends.
To this day he still likes his brownies undercooked.
Now the recipe I’m sharing with you today has nothing to do with me and my husband. Actually, it isn’t even from my family. It comes from Aimee Gibbs, who shared it with me a few years back and I then shared it with y’all on a guest post from her. When I do guest posts, I usually just include the recipe and a family photo from the person who sent it in. But Aimee’s story stood out to me and prompted me to try this recipe as soon as I could. It immediately became a favorite. I’ve been making it as one of my “special treat” recipes ever since so I thought it was high time I gave it a full post with all of the photos to help you make it. You can read Aimee’s story by clicking here. The original recipe is there, as well.
I am rewriting it on this post with a few tweaks and my own words.
You’ll Need: Half and Half*, fettuccine*, boneless chicken of some sort, parsley, green onions, mushrooms*, garlic powder, parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper. Oh, and an egg…and pecans…You probably want to check out the ingredient list down at the bottom for the full picture here.
*If you have heavy cream, that will work as a substitute for the half and half. I know some of y’all are going to want to substitute milk and technically you can, but I don’t recommend it because it lacks the richness a heavier dairy lends in this dish.
*Fettuccine is incredibly difficult to spell. I don’t presume to know who came up with that word but I’m guessing whoever they took it to in order to get the spelling all mapped out was a jerk. Hey, I’ve used the word “jerk” three times in this post. That isn’t normally a word I use. It must be our word of the day or something. I hope you only have cause to use it if you are making jerk chicken though 🙂
*If you hate mushrooms leave them out. I love them. I make this for me so I do it how I want to. But seriously y’all, if you ever see a recipe of mine that has an ingredient you just can’t bear the thought of, just leave it out. I’m not here to force you to eat things you don’t like. You work hard. You pay taxes. With what little pay you have after you pay taxes, you buy groceries. Those groceries should be things you like.
Note: I normally don’t buy a half of a gallon of half and half but the tiny one was just slightly cheaper and the cheapskate in me insisted on getting the most for my money. So we’ve been in half and half heaven for the past two weeks. Makes great Mac and Cheese!
Chop up your mushrooms, pecans, onions, and parsley.
Cut your chicken up into bite sized pieces and sauté it in about two tablespoons of butter over medium high heat until it’s cooked through.
Add mushrooms, pecans, onions, and parsley and continue cooking until veggies are tender.
The original recipe didn’t have us doing it this way but I’m bad about just glancing at instructions and going rogue.
Look at that, all nice. Now time to make our sauce.
If you want a LOT of sauce, double it.
Place half and half, butter, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small sauce pot.
Whisk constantly this over medium heat just until it comes to a boil.
Add in parmesan and return to heat until cheese is melted and sauce is all saucified and thick!
Look, it’s my Hunstville.org spoon!
At some point, you’re gonna want to cook your noodles.
Lets do that before this point because this baby is about ready for go time.
Pour your sauce over your chicken and stir all of that up really good to coat.
Serve atop fettuccine and enjoy!
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms optional, but really good
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 6 ounces pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 10 ounces fettuccine boil while you cook chicken
- 2 tablespoons butter so sauté chicken in
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 2/3 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Saute chicken in two tablespoons of butter over medium high until done.
- Chop onions, mushrooms, parsley, and pecans. Add to chicken along with seasonings. Saute over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Set aside.
- In medium saucepan, place all sauce ingredients except cheese. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it reaches a boil, stir in parmesan cheese until melted and blended. Pour over chicken mixture.
- Serve over cooked fettuccine noodles.
Note: If you go to the post that this recipe originally appeared on you will notice the instructions are different. I tend to streamline things to go along with my attention span. Either recipe will work so just pick, print, and make!
“You don’t marry someone because you can live with them. You marry someone because you can’t live without them.”