This Chicken Scampi dinner is made with breaded chicken tenders, lots of colorful fresh vegetables and a light and creamy aromatic sauce.
1 lb angel hair pasta (or any other pasta that you like)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 small-medium zucchini, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works really well)
1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 – 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh herbs (parsley, basil)
Breaded Chicken Tenders:
2 lbs chicken tenderloins
salt, ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten with a fork
4 – 6 Tablespoons oil for pan frying (grape seed, avocado, sunflower, light olive oil, etc.)
4 slices of bread
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon dry herbs, such as parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- Place a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to the package instructions, or however you like to eat it. When you’re draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water, which is salty and starchy and is perfect to thin out the sauce, if it needs it at the end.
- While the water is coming to a boil and the pasta is cooking, you can cook the chicken, vegetables and sauce.
- Gently flatten out the chicken tenders just so that they are an even thickness. You can also use chicken breast instead, in which case cut them into strips or 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and ground black pepper.
- Make the seasoned breadcrumbs by cutting the bread into cubes and then pulsing in the food processor to make fine crumbs.
- Add the rest of the breadcrumb ingredients – salt, ground black pepper, garlic, powder, onion powder, dry herbs, fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese. Mix until evenly combined.
- Create a coating station by placing the flour, beaten eggs and the seasoned breadcrumbs in shallow plates/bowls with sides. Dredge the seasoned chicken in the flour first, then in the beaten eggs and lastly in the breadcrumbs. Use your hands to firmly press the breadcrumbs into the chicken so it adheres well. Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs a few times, so that all the chicken is well covered in the crumbs.
- Heat 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken tenders and cook until the chicken is golden brown on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side.
- Cook the chicken in batches, until it’s all cooked. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain off the excess oil. To keep the chicken warm, you can place it into a low heat oven 175-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, adding about a Tablespoon of oil to it. When the oil is hot, add the red onion, season with salt and ground black pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper, also seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Scrape some of the vegetables from the center of the skillet and add the garlic. If the skillet is dry, add a small drizzle of olive oil to the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the zucchini and season again with salt and pepper. To prevent the zucchini from becoming too watery and mushy, only cook it for about a minute, just enough to mix it in with the rest of the vegetables.
- Pour in the white wine and the chicken broth into the skillet and turn up the heat to high, bring it to a boil, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. If you’re not using a large skillet, take out the vegetables and place them into another bowl so they don’t overcook first, before adding the broth and wine to the skillet. If the skillet is too small, the sauce won’t have as much of a chance to reduce, so this is an important step.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce reduces. Add the heavy cream and the Parmesan cheese, whisking to combine.
- Add the vegetables and the sauce along with the fresh tomatoes and fresh herbs to the cooked pasta and mix to combine. If you need to thin it out more, add some of the reserved pasta water.
- Serve with the breaded chicken tenders. You can add more Parmesan cheese to each plate and garnish with more fresh herbs.
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