Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chicken Bellagio (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)

For Sunday dinner I wasn't prepared to reheat a freezer meal and was in a pinch to get something on the table quickly.  We paced the aisles of the grocery store arguing about trying to agree on a meal.  That's when I remembered this super easy, delicious pasta dish that I order at the Cheesecake Factory.  $12 spent on ingredients and 30 minutes later, we were eating.  While I LOVE The Cheesecake Factory, I think our entire grocery bill was around the price of our tab for dinner there  AND we didn't have to suffer through the hour long (at least) wait that you're guaranteed to be subjected to.

Here's my version:


4-6 thinly sliced chicken breast fillets
2 c. panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 c. flour
1/4-1/2 c. pesto ( I use Classico)
1 lb. cooked angel hair pasta
4-6 slices prosciutto
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil
3 Tbsp heavy cream (optional)

1.  Boil angel hair pasta according to directions.  Drain and set aside, but reserve pasta water for reheating.

2.  In three separate shallow dishes place flour, whisked eggs, and bread crumbs.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Dip each breast into the flour for a light dusting, then the egg wash and finally the bread crumbs.

3.  Heat oil in skillet.  On medium high heat, cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown.  Cook in batches of 2.  Drain cooked breasts on a wire rack and place in warm oven while remaining batches are cooked.

4.  Heat up the reserved pasta water to a gentle boil.  Submerge the pasta briefly to reheat.  Remove and drain.

5.  In a medium sized bowl, combine pesto and cream (if using).  Make more or less sauce depending on how much you like pesto.  Add warm pasta, tossing to coat. 

6.  To assemble layer a bed of pasta, top with chicken breast, prosciutto and top with arugula.  

**If you're feeling adventurous, sprinkle a smidge of grated cheese (parmesan or swiss) between the chicken and prosciutto.


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