Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chicken Giardino

The Olive Garden used to be one of my favorite places to eat.
I always ordered the same exact dish( which I never do at any restaurant because I like trying new things)- Chicken Giardino. I liked this pasta dish because it was overflowing with vegetables, had a light, lemony sauce, and it was considered a "light" dish on their menu.
Then we went to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Boston. They took us to eat at Maggiano's.
I am sorry to say that there was no comparison. The Olive Garden just didn't do anything for me anymore.
And to make matters worse, they took my favorite dish off the menu!!!
I have tried a couple of other things there and they have all been sub-par.
But that isn't the point.
The point is that I saw the official recipe for Chicken Giardino on The Hungry Housewife.
I had never thought to check The Olive Garden's website for the recipe, but she did. And she made Chicken Giardino and loved it.
I was curious to see if I could recreate this yummy dish at home, so I did.
And it was delicious.
If they brought my beloved Chicken Giardino back to the menu, The Olive Garden might just see me again. But maybe not, because now I know that I can make it myself.

(Olive Garden)
Sauce: ****I made double batch of this sauce****
1 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp dry thyme
½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup water
¼ cup white wine
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced width-wise into ½” strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small rosemary sprigs
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch fresh asparagus (remove bottom inch of stem; cut remainder into 1” pieces)
1 zucchini, julienne cut
1 yellow summer squash, julienne cut
2 roma tomatoes, cut into ½” pieces
½ red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup spinach, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup carrots, julienne cut
1 lb farfalle pasta (bow ties), cooked according to package directions

Sauce Preparation:
MELT butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in thyme, garlic pepper and rosemary. Whisk to thoroughly blend and cook for 1 minute.
COMBINE chicken broth, water, wine, milk, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch has dissolved and there are no lumps.
ADD liquid mixture to sauce pan. Whisk all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
Chicken & Vegetables Preparation:
COMBINE all chicken ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well.
MARINATE for 30 minutes.
HEAT a saute pan over medium high heat. Add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
SAUTE chicken strips until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
ADD all vegetables and sauté until cooked through.
ADD cooked, drained pasta and sauce to sauté pan. Stir until pasta is thoroughly coated with sauce.
TRANSFER to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley

Coming for the weekend- S'mores!


Barbara Bakes said...

I never tried this at the Olive Garden, but it sounds wonderful!

Marie Rayner said...

Oh that looks so yummy Mary Ann! I have never been to Olive Garden, but have long heard about how tasty their food is. Now I can try this and see for myself!

Pamela said...

I don't go to Olive Garden that often, but I have friends that go often. This one looks great, Mare. So colorful, too.

~~louise~~ said...

Yum! That sure looks good. Can't say I've ever been to the Olive Garden. Good thing I suppose. I can't stand when restaurants take my favorite dish off the menu either.

Creative Classroom Core said...

Love all those healthy veggies!

nick said...

Funny story about the Olive Garden, when I was a kid it was one of my fav. places ever (haven't been there in years though).

GEEZ that's a lot of ingredients. Sounds quite tasty though.

Maybe you could save a bit of prep time by using tenders instead of whole breasts...

#1SAHM said...

this looks and sounds really good!

Kerstin said...

This sounds like a pasta dish we would love with all those veggies in it! I just saved the recipe :)

Steph said...

It looks yummy and colourful!

Melanie Anne said...

Wow--I have never tried this at Olive Garden--but it looks like I would love it! I can't wait to make it. Thanks for sharing. I love your delightful blog!

Leslie said...

wasnt it yummy??? thanks so much for the shout out!!
great blog

Anne said...

Wow, that sounds delicious, and it's an Olive Garden dish my husband could actually eat! I'll have to try it. And those Andes Mint smores... yum!

Megrn23 said...

Made this today as this used to be my favorite Olive Garden dish. SPOT ON the flavor! I also doubled the sauce and highly recommend. I didn't even use the broccoli or tomato since I had a ton of veggies prepped with the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, asparagus, and spinach. It was a huge portion. I also ended up making the chicken on the side. In the end I had 5 huge portions for my lunches this week! This recipe can feed a lot! But the sauce.. the BEST and could be used in many different ways.