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Now you don’t have to go to Olive Garden to get your chicken scampi fix with this super easy recipe! Make moist and tender chicken breast strips covered in a rich garlic butter sauce made at home.
I make chicken scampi as an alternative for guests that don’t like shrimp. No shaming though, I prefer it in chicken too and I have never had a guest complain when I served up this buttery and garlicky chicken dish.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN SCAMPI FROM SCRATCH
Making this dish is pretty simple to make.
You only need a few ingredients that you‘re likely to have in the kitchen anyway.
Chicken breast tends to come in three-packs at the local stores around here, so I just use all three in this recipe rather than having a spare in the freezer. Besides, leftovers never go to waste when I make this recipe.
Cut the chicken strips into pieces about 1 inch wide. You can go the long way or the short way, it just depends on how big you want the pieces. You can also buy chicken that has already been cut into strips. Those cost more though and since it only takes about 60 seconds to cut it up, I just cut it.
I like to add a light coating of seasoned flour to the chicken pieces before cooking so that more sauce sticks to it. I combine 1/4 of flour with 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and set it aside while I wait for the pan to get hot.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter, along with 2 tablespoons of light olive oil in a pan set over medium-high heat until the butter has melted and the pan is fairly hot.
When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook each side until it is lightly browned. You don’t want to cook the chicken all the way through during this step or it will dry the chicken out during the final step of cooking.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set it onto a clean plate and set it aside while working on the next step.
Garlic and Shallots
Add the minced garlic and minced shallot to the pan and cook just until you can smell the garlic. So not overcook the garlic because it will make the dish bitter.
Once the garlic and shallots have been cooking for a few minutes, add the white wine and crushed red pepper to the pan with the garlic. Allow the wine to come to a simmer then add the chicken back into the pan and turn it to coat it with the garlic butter wine sauce.
Continue simmering the chicken in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through.
Chicken scampi is great served over pasta so if you want pasta, I would start boiling the water before I started the rest of the recipe so that the pasta and chicken are done at roughly the same time.
A few minutes of extra simmering isn’t as critical as it is with shrimp. Another great reason to make a chicken version of scampi!
HOW TO MAKE SCAMPI SAUCE CREAMY
After the chicken has finished cooking, reduce the heat to barely simmering and add 1/2 to 1 cup of heavy cream and 4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese. Cook just until the cream is heated through and the cheese has melted. Heating too long or with too much heat causes the heavy cream to break and curdle.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used instead of breasts. Dark meat takes a bit longer to cook than white meat so make sure that all of the chicken pieces have been cooked to a minimum of 165⁰F.
You can skip the olive oil and use all butter, just be aware that the smoke point of butter alone is lower than adding olive oil and there is a risk of the butter browning long before the chicken has browned.
Chicken broth can be used in place of the white wine. Chicken broth won’t add any acidity to the dish so you will want to also add a splash of lemon juice.
Chicken scampi doesn’t have to be served with pasta, it’s great alone and served with white rice or mashed potatoes.
WHAT GOES WITH CHICKEN SCAMPI
- Liguine or other long pasta
- Mashed Potatoes
- Broccoli Rabe
- Green Bean Salad
- Green Salad with Italian Dressing
- Creamy Polenta
- Garlic Knots
Promptly refrigerate or freeze any leftovers in a sealed container. Leftover chicken lasts in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. After that, it’s really best to discard it.
Thawed leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. Just make sure that the chicken is heated back to 165⁰F before eating.
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Chicken Scampi Recipe
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoon light olive oil
- 4 large cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 small shallot finely minced
- ½ to 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces dried pasta optional
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely minced, optional for garnish
- Fill a large pot with water and set over high heat, if using pasta.
- Cut chicken into strips about 1 inch wide and set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.
- Dredge chicken strips in flour mixture and set aside while waiting for the pan to heat.
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- When the oil and butter are hot, add the chicken strips and cook until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the other side.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set on a plate.
- Add garlic and shallots to the hot pan and heat just until fragrant.
- Add wine and red pepper flakes and simmer for about a minute or until most of the alcohol has evaporated.
- Add the chicken back to the pan and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, turning the chicken a few times, until the wine has been reduced by about half. About 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once the water is boiling, add the pasta, if using, to the water and cook according to package directions.
- Reduce the heat on the chicken and scampi sauce to the lowest setting possible while waiting for the pasta.
- Drain the pasta, and add to serving bowls and top with the chicken and sauce. Top each plate with freshly minced parsley. Serve immediately.
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