Friday, September 25, 2009

Basil Chicken Scallopine - Inspired by Giada De Laurentis (picture from

Due to the crazy season, it's been a couple weeks since my last post - sorry! But believe me, this recipe is worth the wait. In spite of it's complex sounding title, it's fairly simple to make and tastes oh SO yummy =)

I originally saw a recipe similar to this one on the food network. One of the things I love most about this recipe is the simplicity and the freshness of the sauce. Served over warm pasta, it is the perfect example of a simple & classic tomato sauce. With chunks of tomato in every bite, and the fresh flavor from the basil, this dish is a great way for a pauper to eat with the palate of a prince ;)

Giada made a Sage & Fontina Chicken Scallopine - which I've also made and it's just as good as this one, but last night, I didn't have those ingredients on hand, not mention, I don't cook with sage very often, so buying it seems to always be somewhat of a waste. If you'd like to check her recipe out, here's is the link for her

And here is my version =) I hope you enjoy this rich and rustic Italian dish.

Basil Chicken Scallopine


2 chicken breasts, pounded thin (to about 1/4")
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to season chx.)
8 basil leaves
6 Tbsp. finely shredded Italian blend cheese (I like to use a mixture of Romano, Parmesan & Mozzarella)
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, halved and smashed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
8-10 chiffonade basil leaves
1/2 cup diced sweet yellow onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Special Equipment: toothpicks


Place the chicken breasts on a clean work surface, narrow end facing you. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 4 basil leaves crosswise on each of the pieces of chicken. Sprinkle each of the pieces of chicken with about 3 tablespoons of shredded cheese. Roll up the chicken tightly carefully making sure to keep cheese and basil tucked in, and seal with one or two toothpicks.(I usually use 2 or 3 just to be sure it's sealed nice and tight)

Warm the olive oil, onions and halved garlic cloves in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and remove and discard the garlic. Add butter and simmer for about a minute while scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Once butter is melted and onions are evenly coated, add canned tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Return the chicken to the pan. Simmer the chicken in the tomato sauce for about 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pan. Spoon the tomato sauce onto serving plates or a serving platter. Remove the toothpicks. Place the chicken over the sauce and serve immediately with your favorite pasta! (There should be plenty of sauce to go around =)

Serves 2 as an entree

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