Chicken Scampi Pasta Recipe

Introduction:

Embark on a culinary journey with a tantalizing Chicken Scampi Pasta Recipe that promises to elevate your dining experience to new heights. This mouthwatering dish combines succulent chicken, garlic-infused butter, zesty lemon, and savory herbs, all tossed with al dente pasta for a symphony of flavors and textures. In this article, we’ll unveil the secrets to creating the perfect Chicken Scampi Pasta and satisfy your cravings for a gourmet meal at home.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz spaghetti
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, 1 Tbsp minced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, from 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan, freshly shredded to serve

Instructions:

  1. Prep:
  • Chop, zest, juice, and mince all of your ingredients before you start cooking.
  • Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper then dredge in flour.
  1. Cook pasta:
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 Tbsp salt.
  • Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water then drain the pasta and return pasta to the pot. Partially cover to keep warm.
  1. Sautee chicken:
  • While pasta is cooking, cook the chicken.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil and swirl in 1 Tbsp butter.
  • Sauté chicken 2 minutes per side or until golden and cooked through to 165F on a thermometer. Remove to a plate.
  • Add another Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp butter and sauté the second batch of chicken then transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  1. Make sauce:
  • Carefully add 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Return to medium/high heat and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
  • Cook about 5 minutes or until reduced to about 1/4 cup liquid.
  • Add 4 Tbsp butter and stir to melt.
  • Add garlic and simmer 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1/4 cup parsley. Stir to combine and season with 1/2 tsp salt or to taste.
  1. Combine:
  • Return chicken to the pan and turn to coat in sauce.
  • Transfer drained pasta to a large serving bowl then tilt the pan and spoon extra sauce over cooked spaghetti.
  • Toss spaghetti lightly with sauce then top with chicken and drizzle remaining sauce over the pasta.
  • Serve garnished with more parsley and freshly shredded parmesan.
  • Enjoy your delicious Chicken Scampi Pasta!

Serving Tips:

  1. Garnish Before Serving: Before serving Chicken Scampi Pasta, garnish it with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese for a burst of flavor and visual appeal.
  2. Serve Hot: Chicken Scampi Pasta is best served hot straight from the skillet. Transfer it to individual plates or a serving platter immediately after tossing the pasta with the sauce to ensure it stays warm.
  3. Pair with Bread: Serve Chicken Scampi Pasta with garlic bread or crusty Italian bread to sop up the delicious sauce. The bread will complement the flavors of garlic, lemon, and butter beautifully.
  4. Accompany with Salad: Balance out the richness of Chicken Scampi Pasta with a light and refreshing side salad tossed with vinaigrette dressing. A simple green salad or a tomato and cucumber salad makes a perfect accompaniment.
  5. Enhance Presentation: Plate the Chicken Scampi Pasta neatly and garnish with a lemon wedge or additional parsley sprigs for an elegant presentation that’s sure to impress your guests.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Chicken Scampi Pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to allow the pasta to cool completely before storing it to prevent condensation and sogginess.
  2. Reheat Gently: When reheating leftover Chicken Scampi Pasta, gently warm it in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through. Add a splash of chicken broth or water if needed to prevent the pasta from drying out.
  3. Avoid Freezing: Due to the creamy sauce, Chicken Scampi Pasta may not freeze well and could result in a change in texture. It’s best to enjoy it fresh or refrigerated within a few days.
  4. Refresh with Sauce: If the pasta absorbs some of the sauce during storage, refresh it by tossing it with a little extra chicken broth, white wine, or lemon juice before reheating. This will help revive the flavors and prevent the pasta from becoming dry.
  5. Portion Control: Consider storing individual portions of Chicken Scampi Pasta in separate containers for convenient grab-and-go lunches or quick dinners throughout the week.

FAQs:

  1. Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use your favorite type of pasta for Chicken Scampi Pasta. Linguine or spaghetti are traditional choices, but you can also use fettuccine, penne, or any other pasta shape you prefer.
  2. What can I substitute for white wine in the sauce?
    • If you prefer not to use white wine, you can substitute chicken broth or vegetable broth in the sauce. Alternatively, you can use a combination of lemon juice and water for a citrusy twist.
  3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time for meal prep?
    • While Chicken Scampi Pasta is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble the dish just before serving. Cook the chicken and pasta in advance, and store them separately in the refrigerator. Make the sauce fresh when ready to serve, then toss everything together.
  4. Is it necessary to use fresh lemon zest in the recipe?
    • Fresh lemon zest adds a bright, citrusy flavor to the Chicken Scampi Pasta that enhances the overall dish. However, if you don’t have fresh lemons on hand, you can omit the zest or use a small amount of bottled lemon zest as a substitute.
  5. Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?
    • Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe to be vegetarian or vegan. Simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, or spinach for added flavor and nutrition. Use vegan butter or olive oil in place of butter, and choose a pasta made without eggs for a vegan-friendly option.

Conclusion:

Chicken Scampi Pasta offers a delightful fusion of flavors and textures that’s sure to please your palate. With its simple preparation and exquisite taste, this dish is perfect for any occasion, from casual weeknight dinners to elegant dinner parties. Treat yourself to the culinary delight of Chicken Scampi Pasta and savor every forkful of this irresistible combination of chicken, garlic, lemon, and pasta.