Chicken Tequila Fettucine

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“Sammy’s answers pasta plea.  By Caroline Dipping.”  That was the title of this article in the San Diego Union-Tribune “Readers Ask” column in January 2005. I’m not sure why it made me laugh, but it did.  Was it the corny title?  Or was it that the food editor’s last name is Dipping?

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At any rate, the reader was asking for the recipe for Chicken Tequila Fettucine from Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, a favorite San Diego restaurant.  Tony and I really like the food at Sammy’s (though I’ve actually never ordered this pasta).  We always order the Grilled Chicken Balsamic Salad (creatures of habit) and a pizza (we do mix up the pizzas a bit…love the Thai Chicken and New York Style).

Okay, so Caroline Dipping made me laugh and the recipe sounded yummy and I know the food at Sammy’s is good, so I tried it and have made it countless times since.  It’s delicious…the sauce is flavorful and creamy, with a touch of tequila and a little kick from a jalapeño pepper.

And I still chuckle every time I pull out the recipe.

Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

(adapted slightly from Sammy’s via the U-T...the original recipe calls for a couple tablespoons of soy sauce, but I don’t think it needs it.)


8 ounces chicken breast, diced into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 tablespoons butter

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion, quartered, sliced

1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded, minced

2 tablespoons tequila

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 cups heavy cream

4 tablespoons cilantro leaves (divided use)

Juice from 1 lime

12 ounces cooked spinach fettuccine


In a bowl, mix diced chicken with olive oil and minced garlic. Set aside.

Heat a large, heavy saute pan. Add butter and melt. Add the diced garlic chicken, stirring occasionally until well-browned on all sides. Add bell pepper, onion and jalapeño. Continue cooking until vegetables soften.

Add tequila and chicken broth. Cook, reducing the mixture until there is just a little liquid left. Add the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and the lime juice. Cook until sauce thickens.

Add the cooked and well-drained spinach fettuccine to the cream mixture. Toss until pasta is hot and well-coated. Divide pasta into 2 large bowls and top with remaining cilantro. Serve hot.


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