Italian Chicken Scampi served over a bed of perfect pasta is not only delicious, it is nearly a complete meal all on its own. Add a vegetable side or serve with a crisp salad, and this Italian supper is now complete. All you need to do is decide which wine to serve. The simplicity of the sides is a good thing because the scampi itself is a bit complicated.
Now I say that as a warning not to scare you off but to let you know there are several steps involved. A white sauce is made. This sauce is added to the scampi sauce, acting as a roux to thicken the scampi sauce. And the scampi sauce – heaven! Wonderful butter, wine and garlic swirling about in a pan. The final kiss of garlic comes from garlic that is roasted in the oven.
Although the steps are multiple, the technique isn’t complex. Kiddo made this dish one night all on his own and with wonderful success. The key is to take your time, read the recipe all the way through and organize the ingredients ahead of time. The last thing you’ll want to be doing while hopping from step to step is to be searching for the next ingredient on the list.
Italian Chicken Scampi served over pasta
Ingredients – White Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk, hot
For the White Sauce: In a small saucepan, heat milk. DO NOT let milk boil. Keep hot over low heat until ready to use. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoons butter until just melted. Add 2 tablespoons flour and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Stirring constantly. slowly add 3/4 cup hot milk (hot so it won’t get lumpy). Set aside. (Make sure that the white sauce is hot when adding to the scampi sauce).
Ingredients – Scampi Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon dried cilantro (optional)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth
For the Scampi Sauce: Heat butter over low heat. add the garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper and black pepper. cook for about 2 minutes on low heat. Add the wine and chicken broth. stir until combined. Continue cooking 30-40 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. Add 1/4 cup white sauce and cook till slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Note: While Scampi Sauce cooks, keep an eye on the white sauce, stir and scrape down saucepan as needed. White sauce will be a thick “gravy” when added to scampi sauce.
Ingredients – Chicken
2 bell peppers, – red, orange or yellow or combination of 2
1 red onion
10 garlic cloves, roasted
2 chicken breasts
To Roast Garlic: Separate head of garlic into individual cloves still in ‘paper’. toss in a little olive oil and wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, open foil and allow garlic to cool. When the garlic has cooled to the touch you should be able to squeeze it out whole. Set aside until ready to use. While garlic is roasting, prepare remaining ingredients for scampi.
For Chicken & Bell Peppers: Core bell peppers. Cut into thin strips. Set aside until ready to use. Peel red onion. Cut into thin slices and set aside until ready to use. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips. (Much like chicken for stir-fry).
In a large skillet, sauté chicken in a little olive till nearly done. Add the peppers and onions, sauté till chicken is done. Add the Scampi sauce. Sauté until everything is warmed. Add roasted garlic cloves.
Serve over pasta such as Angel Hair, Linguine or thin Spaghetti.
Ingredients – Pasta
1 lb Pasta – Thin Spaghetti, Angel Hair or Linguini recommended
Salt for water
For the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a full boil. Turn down heat to maintain a nice, steady rolling boil. Add pasta, stirring well. Cook pasta al denta, stirring occasionally. Pasta loves to “dance” so help it along.
Drain, toss with a little olive oil and keep warm until ready to serve.