Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuscan Garlic Chicken Pasta

I'd been looking forward to making this meal for a long time, pretty much ever since Lisa introduced me to the recipe section of Olive Garden's website way back when. I've only had this dish once in the actual restaurant that I can recall, but I remember thinking it was pretty good.

That's exactly what I'd call this at-home version of the dish: pretty good. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't terrible either. The chicken had a nice crispy skin and was very flavorful, but Joe and I were both underwhelmed by the pasta. We both found it too bland for our tastes. I think the sauce needed some red pepper flakes, or even just some black pepper, to spice it up a bit.

It wasn't bad, though, and it wasn't nearly as expensive to make at home as it would have been to order in the restaurant. Overall this was a decent dish -- but it's probably not something I'll rush to make again.

Tuscan Garlic Chicken Pasta
Source: Olive Garden

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 pound fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package directions
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, julienne cut
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 pound whole leaf spinach, stemmed (I used baby spinach)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ.

2. Mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the mixture, shaking off any excess.

3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken breasts 2 at a time over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp (2-3 minutes). Add more oil for each batch as necessary.

4. Place cooked chicken breasts on a baking sheet and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165°.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour, wine, spinach and cream and bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in parmesan cheese.

6. Coat cooked, drained pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.


Creative Classroom Core said...

This is a favourite recipe at our house! Love the spinach!!!

Keri said...

This looks good, Cassie. By the way, did you make your breadsticks, too? Are they "Olive Garden-esqe??" That's another one of my favorites from OG.

Cassie said...

Ahh, bread-making is a realm I haven't yet been brave enough to enter. Nope, those are regular old Kroger brand breadsticks. Not quite as good as Olive Garden, but still surprisingly tasty!