Monday, January 6, 2014

Lighter Tuscan Garlic Chicken

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Most people are surprised when I tell them I enjoy the Olive Garden. Not because they expect me to be cooking at home every night, but because my family is Italian and the Olive Garden is considered "low grade" on the Italian food scale. But I'm not going to lie, I think it's very tasty! And I can't get enough of their salad and breadsticks. That's what mainly keeps me going back.
I love copycat type of recipes, so when I saw this one for the Olive Garden's Tuscan Garlic Chicken, I was excited to try it. I've never had it in the restaurant so I had nothing to compare it to, but I thought it was phenomenal. I altered the ingredients just a little to make it more figure-friendly, but the taste was still there. The sauce is thick and creamy and the peppers, spinach and Parmesan really kick it up a notch. Enjoy this meal in the comfort of your own home with a glass of nice wine!

Printable Recipe

  • 4 each (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tbsp.
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb. fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, julienne cut
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. whole leaf spinach, stemmed
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

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

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

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for approximately 1 minute. Stir in 1 tbsp. flour, broth, spinach and milk and bring to a boil. Sauce is done when spinach becomes wilted. Complete by stirring in Parmesan cheese.

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

Source: Adapted from Olive Garden

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