Chicken Parmesano Vino Bianco, also known as Chicken in a White Wine Parmesan Cream Sauce over Linguine. I know I have mentioned this like a zillion times, but what’s one more? My favorite, absolute gotta have favorite cuisine on the planet is Italian. And not just any style of Italy, but that which reflects the greatest Northern influence.
For a country about the length of my beloved California, Italy is diverted in its culinary styles. Those in the north embrace rich cream sauces, while their neighbors to the south are known for tangy tomato sauces. Those of the north love stuffed meats, those in the south are more seafood lovers. Both sides have contributed to classic Italian cuisine, each with its own distinct signature of flavors.
Location is everything. Southern Italy is a part of the lively Mediterranean. Theirs are the flavors more associated with Italian foods. Eggplant Parmigiana, Margherita Pizza, the brightness of tomato sauce and the spice of peppers with the sweetness of basil. When most of us think Italian, these are the things that immediately come to mind.
Northern Italy is mountainous. Just as the south is a blend of its Mediterranean neighbors, the North is influenced by its neighbors, France, Austria and Switzerland. Lombardia in northern Italy is prime cattle country. The south is dipped in olive oil, the north is slathered with butter.
When most Americans are asked which they prefer, Northern or Southern Italian dishes, over 70% choose Southern. Personally, I think this isn’t an accurate survey. If asked to select between Pizza (Southern) or Alfredo Fettuccine (Northern), most people pick pizza. Each region of Italy has its own stamp of culture and cuisine. While many Americans feel a national sense of identity (except maybe Texans), many Italians identify with a region first, country second. To say the North is butter and the south is tomato is simplifying this diverse country. But you get the idea. I am a fan of Northern cuisine, while Hubby is more a Southern Boy.
A few years back, long before my blogging days, I threw myself a birthday party. It was a crazy menu, with several different styles of pasta, several types of sauces, stuffed beefs, grilled salmon, two different types of Italian breads served with both butter and olive oil. And a wonderful chicken dish served over linguine.
This birthday supper was a casual sit-down dinner for twelve in our backyard, and I wanted to make sure that there was something for everyone, with lots variety. Hubby said I went a little nuts in the food department. (No denial here). We did have plenty of food left-over and everyone went home with a goodie-bag of home-cooked Italian foods. More importantly, everyone had their fill and then some.
The beauty of this recipe is that it can easily be doubled or tripled for larger gatherings. Below is the original recipe, designed for four adults.
Chicken in a White Wine Parmesan Cream Sauce over Linguine
4 (4 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
In a pie plate or shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir with a fork to blend. Dredge chicken, coat the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Lay chicken on a baking rack over a foil lined pan and allow to reset while the skillet heats.
Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in the skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning once mid-way through cooking. Remove chicken from skillet, place on a plate, cover with foil and place in a warm oven until ready to serve.
1/2 lb Dry Linguine
Salt, for water
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup cooking water. Keep pasta warm and set aside.
White Wine Parmesan Cream Sauce
1 scallion, chopped
1 Roma tomato, diced
½ yellow onion, grated
5 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup white wine
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup pasta water, as needed
To the now empty skillet, add 4 tablespoons butter, scallions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent about 2 minutes.
Add ¼ cup flour to pan and whisk to combine. Add cream, lemon juice, wine, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Whisk until is you have a smooth mixture. Add up to 1 cup of pasta water to help create the sauce. Heat through.
To the skillet with the sauce, add cooked pasta, scallions and tomatoes, stir to combine, pulling pasta through the sauce. Transfer saucy pasta to a warm, rimmed serving platter.
1 scallion, chopped
1 Roma tomato, dices
3-4 Basil Leaves, torn
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Remove chicken from oven, lay over pasta. Sprinkle with scallions, tomatoes, basil and Parmesan Cheese. Serve and enjoy.