· 8 ounces dried fettuccine· 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total)· 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided· 2 tablespoons canola oil· 8 tablespoons (1 stick) European-style unsalted butter, divided· 2 cloves garlic, minced· 1 cup heavy cream· 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (2 1/2 ounces), plus more for serving· 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg· Coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving
Step 1Cook the pasta, drain, and reserve cooking water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.Step 2Dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, pat both sides of the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper.Step 3Heat the oil over medium-high in a large frying pan. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. If you have a pan that has straight sides, here's the time to use it. Do not use a nonstick pan.Step 4Add the chicken to the hot pan, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Swirl the pan just before adding the chicken to distribute the oil. Add the chicken and leave it alone for 5 to 7 minutes, until the bottom is golden-brown. If you try to to turn the chicken and it feels stuck, it isn't ready to flip.Step 5Flip the chicken and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken reaches 165°F. Flip the chicken over and add 1 tablespoon of the butter right between them. Pick up the pan and give it a gentle swirl to distribute the melting butter. Cook the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 5 to 7 minutes more.Step 6Slice the chicken and cover to keep warm. Transfer the chicken to a plate or clean cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cover with aluminum foil while you prepare the rest of the dish.Step 7Melt the rest of the butter and sauté the garlic. Add the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter to the same pan used for the chicken and place over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.Step 8Make the Alfredo sauce. Whisk in the cream, Parmesan, nutmeg, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin it out.Step 9Add the drained pasta and toss to coat in the sauce. Add the drained fettuccine to the sauce and toss to coat. Divide the pasta among serving bowls and top with a few slices of chicken. Garnish with parsley, more Parmesan, and black pepper if desired.