Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spicy Romano Chicken

Alfredo sauce:
1 cube butter
1 pint cream
4 oz cream cheese
1/8 tsp minced garlic

Melt above ingredients together stirring with whisk to break up cream cheese pieces, then add:
1 cup parmesan cheese

Stir until smooth

2 tbsp butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup romano cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
bowtie pasta, cooked

In skillet, melt butter and saute chicken, mushrooms, green onions, and sundried tomatoes until hot.  Add alfredo sauce, romano cheese, artichoke hearts, and cayenne pepper.  Simmer.  Serve over bowtie pasta.  Enjoy!

A very good friend of mine always finds the most amazing recipes and she scored this little beauty for me when she found out that my favorite meal at Johnny Carino's was Spicy Romano Chicken.  This is an incredible copycat.  I've never found an alfredo recipe that I like better than this one and when you make it yourself you can omit the things that would make your children utter the words "Ooooh (or ugh, take your pick), what's THAT?!".  I personally hate hearing that phrase so I leave out the things (aka artichoke hearts) that would provoke it.  Plus I have a "no-fungal-matter-in-my-food" policy so I also omit the mushrooms. 

The recipe starts with the alfredo sauce but I prefer to start with the chicken first.  That way I can have that done ahead at a time of my leisure (oh sure, leisure, what's that) and make the alfredo sauce closer to when we're ready to eat and once I add it to the chicken and simmer for a bit, it warms it all back up.

I always toss in my chicken (I prefer tenders) whole and saute it alone for awhile.  Once it starts to cook through, I then use my cooking utensil to chop it into smaller pieces.  You could cut it up into smaller pieces before cooking and I guess it's sixes.
Once the chicken is to my liking, I add in the green onion and sundried tomatoes.  I have used dried sundried (it sounds like a redundant phrase, I know, but I promise they come dried) tomatoes before and reconstitute them before adding them in.  I prefer the ones in oil as their color is prettier but both work.  And who doesn't love a sundried tomato with all their concentrated antioxidants and that power-packed tomato smell that bursts out of the bottle when you take off the lid - my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Once the chicken is cooked through and you feel the onions and tomatoes and fungus, if you choose to add this, are sauteed to your liking, you can set this aside, put it in the fridge for awhile or proceed forward.  None of this takes too long so that's another great thing about this recipe - easy and quick, not to mention flavorful and amazing.

For the alfredo sauce, I melt the butter in the saucepan, then add the cream cheese, garlic, and cream.  I have caught myself by surprise before and found that I didn't have cream like I thought I did and substituted just regular old milk instead.  It all works.  If you like feeling sinful and guilty when you eat, then use the cream.

Once this mixture is relatively smooth (it will take awhile to get rid of those cream cheese chunks) then add in the parmesan cheese.

Generally while I am cooking the alfredo sauce, I also have a pot of bowtie pasta cooking.


Once your alfredo sauce is smooth, add it into your chicken mixture.  Then add your romano cheese (mozzarella substitutes just fine and is much easier to find in the grocery store), artichoke hearts (if you are not feeding humans under the age of 15), and cayenne pepper (you can omit this if you have an aversion to tasty spices but I feel you would regret it.  1/4 tsp is not that much and is hardly noticeable.  If you like heat, add more).  I drain my pasta and then add it into the pan as well and toss it all together.  So tasty!  I love you Johnny Carino! 



Charissa said...

It's even better with the mushrooms, and especially the artichoke hearts (to me that is not an optional ingredient). My family and I love, love, love this recipe! It's a true winner.

Jill said...

Another yummy looking recipe!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Johnson Fam said...

I made this last night and it was so delish! My family really enjoyed it. Thanks so much!

Faith Abigail Designs said...

Oh, wow! That looks awesome. Thanks for joining us at Patches of Pink!

Lindsay said...

Thank you for linking this up at Show & Share! This looks really yummy! Great tutorial!

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