The Olive Garden Chicken Scampi
by Todd Wilbur
This dish is a big favorite of Olive Garden regulars everywhere. Chicken tenderloins are lightly breaded and sautéed along with colorful bell peppers and chopped red onion. Add angel hair pasta to the pan along with a healthy dose of fresh scampi sauce, and serve the dish right up. If you're cooking for two, you can prepare this dish for the table in one large skillet. If you're making all four servings at once, you need another skillet. By the way, if you can't find fresh chicken tenderloins (the tender part of the chicken breast), you can usually find big bags of them in the freezer section. I'm sure you'll have some left over after this recipe, but they're good to have around.
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
1 1/2 cups Chablis wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream
5 to 6 quarts water
16 ounces angel hair pasta
4 tablespoons light olive oil
12 chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size strips
1 chopped red onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. Make scampi sauce by melting butter in a preheated pan over medium/low heat. Add 2 tablespoons chopped onions and sauté for 2 to 4 minutes or until the onions begin to brown. If the butter begins to burn, turn down the heat. When the onions are beginning to brown, add the minced garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Don't let the garlic burn. After about 30 seconds add the wine, salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and black pepper, and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 15 to 18 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Add parsley and heavy cream and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Do not let mixture reach a boil.
2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the angel hair pasta and cook for about 4 minutes or until pasta is al dente, or mostly tender with just a slight toughness. Drain the pasta in a colander or sieve when done, then hit it with some cold water to prevent sticking and to keep it from cooking further.
3. If preparing all four servings, preheat 2 large skillets over medium heat (if making just 2 servings, you'll need only one skillet and half of the total ingredients -- save the rest for another meal). Lightly salt and pepper the chicken tenderloins, then coat each one in the flour that has been measured into a large bowl. Arrange all of the coated tenderloins on a plate before sautéing 6 tenderloins in each pan. Cook the tenderloins for 3 to 5 minutes on one side or until golden brown.
4. When the chicken is brown on one side, flip each of the pieces, and move them to the side of the pans, then add an even amount of the sliced peppers and chopped onions to the center of each skillet. Continue cooking the chicken and veggies for 4 to 6 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the veggies are beginning to brown on the edges.
5. Divide the scampi sauce in half and pour it over the chicken and veggies in each pan. Add 2 portions of pasta to each pan, then toss the ingredients a bit and continue to cook for a couple minutes or until the pasta is heated through. Prepare each dish by serving equal amounts of pasta onto each of four plates. Use a spoon or tongs to add the peppers and onions on top of each pile of pasta. Arrange three chicken tenderloins onto the center of the pasta.
6. Sprinkle each plate with about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh parsley and serve it up with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. (http://www.topsecretrecipes.com)
Makes 4 servings (but can be easily divided into 2 separate servings for 2).