Grilled Chicken Carbonara
This grilled chicken carbonara is an easy pasta dish that features a creamy egg sauce, bacon and of course grilled chicken. The smoke flavor from the chicken and subliminal bacon flavor all come together in a balanced way. The addition of the chicken gives this grilled chicken carbonara a bit more substance than the traditional method.
Legend has it that this dish was a favorite lunch of the Italian coal miners. (Carbonara is the Italian word for carbon, or coal) It allowed them a protein filled meal with minimal preparation. Although they used prosciutto, I don’t think anyone would mind using bacon as a substitution.
- 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lb pasta
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 Half and Half
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- a hand full of smoking chips, hickory or any fruit wood preferred
- Soak wood chips in water for half an hour.
- Prepare a medium fire. Once ready, place wood chips on coals or wrap in an aluminum foil packet with pierced holes and place on the diverter plate of a gas grill (below the cooking grate)
- Once chips begin to smoke, cook chicken breasts 5 - 8 minutes per side, covered.
- When chicken has cooled enough to handle, slice into narrow strips, cover and set aside.
- Slice bacon into thin strips, discarding as much fat as possible. Cook in a frying pan until crisp. Remove and place on several layers of paper towels.
- In a large pot, bring some salted water to a rapid boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente and drain. Return pasta to pot
- While preparing the pasta, beat the eggs and whisk in the half and half and Parmesan cheese. Add bacon and chicken. Mix well.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir until pasta is well coated with the sauce.
- Heat over a low flame (very low) while continuing to gently stir. This is where due diligence is required. Too high of a heat or not enough stirring will result in the eggs becoming scrambled. This is not our goal. Keep the heat down and keep the sauce from remaining at the bottom of the pot for very long. All we're doing here is allowing the sauce to slightly thicken. The hot pasta will be doing most of the heating.
- Season with fresh ground black pepper and immediately serve.