While she may not be the most talented cook in the kitchen, Heather Gardner of New Iberia still loves to cook a nice meal every now and again, when she gets the chance.

Gardner works at the Preservation Bar & Grill and one of her favorite things to cook is pasta, most notably alfredo.

“I tend to make more of the pasta dishes,” Gardner said. “And my kids tend to like more pasta, and that’s why I make dishes like that.”

Gardner likes to use alfredo, chicken and shrimp, but she also loves seafood. From baked to pan-fried fish, Gardner said she isn’t too picky.

While cooking is more a sometime-thing for Gardner because of her hectic work schedule at Preservation Bar & Grill and her other job throughout the week and weekend, when she does get a chance to make a dish, she makes sure to make it count.

“I tend to stick to simpler dishes,” Gardner said.

Alfredo is a creamy, dreamy pan sauce made from butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. There are a few additions and adaptations that exist. Unlike béchamel, another classic sauce, Alfredo is best made and eaten straight away. And it’s one Gardner enjoys to make when she can.

Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb chicken breast, cubed

2 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

16 oz penne pasta, cooked

¼ cup fresh parsley

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups of milk

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

Directions:

In a pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, then add the chicken breast.

Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil. Cook 8-10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove from heat and set chicken aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt butter and add the garlic. Cook until the garlic begins to soften.

Add half of the flour to the garlic and butter, stirring until incorporated. Then add the rest of the flour and stir.

Pour in the milk a little bit at a time, stirring well in between, until fully incorporated and sauce begins to thicken.

Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and stir well to incorporate.

Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.

Pour the sauce over cooked penne pasta, add the chicken and mix well.

Add parsley and extra parmesan. Mix well.

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