My mom, the tiny woman who's veins pulse with Sicilian blood, loves the Chicken Scampi at Olive Garden. That's saying something, isn't it? Mom's been trying to crack the code on the recipe. (Along with the Italian blood, culinary sleuthing runs in the family, I think.) A handful of Sundays ago, she invited us over to sample her copy-cat recipe. Her house smelled amazing (think butter and garlic) the minute we walked through the door. Hubba, hubba, chicken scampi, I think I love you.
The stuff was delicious, beautiful, and rib-stickingly good. All Sunday dinners really ought to be this special. But don't wait for Sunday-it could pep up a weeknight, or dazzle a table full of dinner guests. Mark it down, print it out, make some up.
And by the way, did I ever tell you, that my mom thinks her children aren't really Italian? Not really authentic Italians anyway. We don't qualify since we claim only one piddly half of her Roman inheritance. For goodness sakes, 8 out of 10 of us have those Mediterannean noses that scream "I'm Italian" to the rest of the world. My mom is just more discriminating than kin, scientists, and genealogists. You have to be 100 percent to get full credit. But then again, maybe my mom isn't a real Italian either. H
ow many real Italians do you know that copy recipes from the Olive Garden? (Just a little good natu
red ribbing. To know my mom is to love her completely. Ti amo, mama!)
Mom's Copy Cat Chicken Scampi
Slightly Adapted to make it easier, by me
Estimated Cost: $10.00
8 tablespoons butter, divided use
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, green and red, cored and thinly sliced
1 lbs chicken tenders, pounded flat
2 tablespoons butter
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 cup chicken broth
freshly grated parmesan
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter. Cook garlic until fragrant, remove with slotted spoon. Cook onion and bell pepper until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Remove peppers and onions to plate. Add chicken and brown on both sides in another tablespoon of butter. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Add remaining butter and slowly stir in chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve pasta, chicken and peppers on serving dish. Sprinkle liberally with parmesan and parsley.
Swedish Visiting Cake, for Tuesdays with Dorie
(It'll be later than Tuesday, since I'm in Salt Lake City for my nephew's wedding.)