Thursday, 8 March 2018

Chicken Bacon And Mushroom Fettuccine

All the world loves pasta I'm told, but I don't think I got the memo.  I eat it when offered, or make it to please Mr P. who is a massive pasta fan.  Did I say massive?:=)  So being such a kind soul, I made this for him recently.  This is another recipe from Chelsea Winter's book Homemade Happiness.  There are lots of delicious-sounding dishes here, but I'm a wee bit bemused by her frequent use of large amounts of stock that she boils down for aeons, then thickens with a roux aka cornflour slurry.  Huh?  Why?  Maybe it's a Kiwi thing? or should that be 'thung'?

creamy chicken mushroom and bacon fettuccine

Serves 4:


225g. rindless bacon, chopped into smallish pieces

700g. approx of skinless chicken thigh fillets (i.e. no bones)

sea salt and ground black pepper

2 tbs olive oil

25g. (2.5 dsp) butter

7 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped

350g. mushrooms, thinly sliced

125 mLs (1/2 cup) dry white wine

1 tbs fresh herbs, finely chopped - use your fave - thyme, parsley etc

zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp chicken stock powder stirred into 125 mLs (1/2 cup) of boiling water

375 mLs (1.5 cups) of cream 

125g. (1 cup) parmesan, grated

1.5 tbs cornflour mixed in with 65 mLs (1/4 cup) of milk

1 cup of cooked peas, or 2 cups of baby spinach leaves

2 tbs parsley, finely chopped

fresh basil, torn with your fingers - try a handful, or to taste

350g. of fettucine, cooked as per the packet instructions


First fry the bacon pieces in a large frypan over medium-high heat

Scoop them out when nicely browned and put aside

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper

Add 1 tbs olive oil to the pan, bring to the heat and place the chicken fillets in the pan

Let them cook till you have a lovely brown colour on the bottom, then turn the chicken over and brown the other side

Set it aside while you add the other 1 tbs olive oil, the butter and the garlic to the pan

Stir over medium heat for a minute or 2

Add the mushrooms, wine, herbs and lemon zest

Allow to bubble away for a minute

Now into the pan goes the chopped up chicken, bacon, stock, cream, parmesan and cornflour slurry/roux

Let it simmer for about 10 minutes till it thickens and melds

Throw in the peas or spinach leaves, and the parsley and basil

Season with salt and pepper if needed

Toss as much of the fettuccine as you fancy in with the sauce

Throw on some extra parmesan and herbs if you feel inclined


Chelsea's recipe actually starts with reducing 2 cups of stock to 1/2 cup stock before you do anything else;  mmm frankly I have better things to do with my time so I figured adding stock powder to half a cup of boiling water would do instead - but feel free:=)

Chelsea also suggests using 500g. of pasta!  Mr P. told me that was too much, but I cooked it anyway.  Oh boy, was it too much.  If I had put it all in with the sauce, there would have been very little sauce and very little flavour.  And it was just way too much, but once again, feel free

ingredients gathered

bacon fried off

chicken cooked till golden

get Mr P. to chop up the chook

stir in the chicken, bacon etc

snip up the pasta if you like it shorter 

I'm not that keen on slurping up long strands of wet pasta, and having it drip all over my chin.  So, I grab a pair of scissors and give it a snip or 3 in the colander.  Yep, much better.

Mr P. tossing the pasta

sprinkle with extra parmesan and herbs if desired 

This was a really flavoursome, filling pasta dish that fed me and hubby for a couple of nights.  Chelsea's books are packed with homey, comforting dishes.  But I reckon you can skip or adjust some of her steps.  Spending 20 minutes to reduce down some stock for this dish is just not practical for the busy home cook.  Sure if you have plenty of time, go ahead, but I reckon we all need to simplify where possible.  Her recipes can easily be adjusted, so enjoy her books if you get hold of them.  She has some great ideas, which will give you some inspiration even if you don't slavishly follow her methods.

my herby, thymey-wimey doodle


  1. Making stock and then reducing it is a French thing, and quite old. Some of the classic sauces from centuries ago required more than one reduction, meaning that the sauce was incredibly rich and thickened with the natural gelling agents (collagen) from the bones that went into the original pot. Most recent cookbook authors don't think it's possible to do the same thing in a modern home kitchen. A very long story. I suspect your choices are totally right: you wouldn't do better by boiling down your stock!

    best... mae at

    1. hi Mae
      if only we all had a sous-chef in our kitchens to do the menial work:) I figured I would get a small amount more flavour in this dish with the reduction, but who has time? cheers S x

  2. This was really delicious, as i can attest. I love pasta as Mrs Pickings tells you all, so i enjoyed it thoroughly.

  3. He must have been very happy! Mr NQN is crazy for pasta. In fact it's probably a pasta like this that he really loves.

    1. hi lorraine
      yes indeedy. hubby was very happy. Maybe it's a man thing:) cheers

  4. I'm with you Sherry, the whole waiting for stock to reduce for this type of dish is a bit OTT. I think it makes better sense what you did. Looks really tasty!

    1. thanks Jem. it was fairly delicious. Especially loved by hubby. cheers S x

  5. Looks yummy. I think I'll even cook it.

    1. thanks Klara. it is a tasty dinner. cheers S


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