Chicken Scampi - A popular Italian-American entrée where chicken is cooked in a creamy butter garlic sauce with fresh lemon juice and served with Angel Hair/Linguine or thin Spaghetti. Creamy, aromatic, fresh, and bursting with flavors Chicken Scampi is no way less than Shrimp Scampi in any measure.
The finishing touches of Chopped Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, and Shredded Parmesan cheese bring out the flavors even more.
Olive Garden's Chicken Scampi is so popular. And, rightly so. They make the best Chicken Scampi ever. And, it is quite impossible to predict the recipe and copy it right away. They don't share their recipes either. So, what I did, was make my own version of Chicken scampi - pretty similar to Shrimp Scampi - and here it is.
Chicken Scampi Recipe
Fun Fact: I didn't know until now that Scampi is an edible lobster that is found in the Mediterranean and Northeastern Atlantic region. And, traditionally Scampi meant serving these grilled lobsters in a creamy garlic butter sauce! Well, that sounds so mmm...
But, I don't hate the modern Americanised version as well. These days, rather than using Lobsters we use Shrimps or Chicken (for people who hate seafood) and the process is called Scampi. Interesting right?
1. Cook Pasta as per Package directions
Generally, people use Angel Hair pasta to make Chicken Scampi or Shrimp Scampi. It's thin, smooth, and simply the best.
However, that's not set in stone. You can use thin spaghetti, or Linguine as well. I have used Linguine to make this Chicken Scampi recipe.
Cooking Pasta as per package directions is the best way to ensure that they do not overcook or undercook. Once it is cooked, drain the liquid and keep the pasta in a colander.
2. Coat Chicken Pieces
While your pasta is cooking, coat chicken pieces in Flour, Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
Fun Fact: Do you know why we coat our chicken in flour? Coating Chicken or anything that you are about to pan-fry helps them get a golden-brown crust on the outside. Moreover, they soak in the flavors of the sauce in which it is cooked.
3. Sear Chicken in Olive Oil
Heat some Olive Oil in a large skillet. Add Chicken pieces in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan. Sear until the bottom turns light brown. Then flip over and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
While cooking chicken make sure you keep the heat to medium-high. If you want a richer and creamier sauce you can add a stick of butter as well.
Try to cook chicken in batches. This is the easiest way to ensure that the chicken cooks properly. Once your chicken pieces are cooked, transfer them to a plate and cover them with a lid so that they stay warm.
4. Sauté Garlic in Butter
And, here comes the part which I was waiting for. This butter garlic sauce is the best part about Chicken Scampi. So, the process is pretty straightforward.
Heat a Pan with butter (You already have enough oil in it from cooking the chicken). Allow the butter to melt partially and then add minced garlic. Sauté garlic for 30-45 seconds. Do Not Brown the garlic.
5. Add White Wine and Red Pepper Flakes
I love this part of the recipe where we open a fancy bottle of white wine and pour it into our recipe. Looks so cinematic right?
White wine intensifies the flavors. I love Chardonnay (simply the best when it comes to white wines for cooking) or Pinot Grigio. And, sometimes Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc has so much acidity that it is best if you use it for Shrimp Scampi or any other seafood recipes. But, for chicken Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio works the best.
These are my favorite white wines when it comes to cooking. They have low alcohol levels which means - these take lesser time to reduce.
Once you've added white wine and red pepper flakes allow it to reduce by 3/4th. This usually takes 5-minutes on medium-low heat.
6. Add Butter
To make our sauce creamier, we are going to add two more cubes of butter into our sauce. I love adding butter to make my sauce. And, who doesn't right?
7. Bring Back Chicken to the Skillet
Now is the time when you take off the lid from your cooked chicken pieces and place them back into the skillet. Toss them in the sauce.
8. Add Pasta, Fresh lemon Juice, Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper.
Now finally add cooked and drained Pasta. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Sprinkle Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Pepper.
9. Stir In Heavy Cream and Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Finally, stir in some heavy cream for a rich and creamy sauce. Sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese on top. Serve with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
Keep these Tips in Mind while making this recipe
- Do not Skip Dabbing your chicken dry: Dab your chicken dry with a paper towel before coating it with flour, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
- Do not Brown Garlic: Sauté garlic for just 30-seconds and do not brown.
- Choose Wine Wisely: Make sure you choose your wine wisely. A cheap quality wine would simply ruin the dish.
- Simmer the Sauce: Allow the Sauce to simmer and reduce it to 3/4th. Or else you will have intense alcohol flavors in the dish.
- Cook pasta as per package directions: Cook pasta to al dente as per package directions.
Other Delicious pasta recipes you can try:
- Pasta alla norma
- Baked Rigatoni Pasta with Ground Beef (Freezer Friendly)
- Kale Pesto Pasta with Walnuts
- Chicken Enchilada Pasta
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet
- Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
If you are making this recipe, then please leave a rating below. Also, take a snap and share it on Instagram with #recipemagik. Tag me @recipemagik so that I can see how it turned out.
Chicken Scampi Recipe
- 1¼ lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken cut into small 1-inch cubes
- 12 oz. Linguine Pasta cooked to al dente as per package directions and drained
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil or any other vegetable oil or canola oil for searing chicken
Ingredients to coat chicken
- 2 tbsp. Flour I used all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
- Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper use as per taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper)
Ingredients to make the sauce
- 6 tbsp. Butter diced into 1-inch cubes
- 4-5 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 cup dry White Wine such as Chardonnay
- ¼ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- ¼ Cup Heavy Cream
- ⅓ cup fresh chopped parsley
- ⅔ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Heat a pot of boiling water with salt. Add 12 ounces of pasta (you can also use angel hair or thin spaghetti). Cook to al dente as per package directions. Once done, drain the liquid, and place it in a colander.
- Heat a large skillet with olive oil. Add chicken in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan. Sear one side until browned. This usually takes 3-minutes on medium-low heat. Flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked take it out on a plate. Cover it with a lid so that it stays warm. Keep aside.
- In the same pan add 2 tablespoon butter. As the butter melts partially, add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Do not brown the garlic. Sauté for just 20-30 seconds until aromatic.
- Pour White Wine and add red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce on medium-low heat and let it reduce to ¾th. This usually takes 5-minutes.
- Add remaining 4 tbsp. butter and allow it to melt on low heat.
- Add chicken back into the skillet. Squeeze some lemon juice. Add Salt and Pepper as per taste.
- Add drained pasta. Pour Heavy Cream. Toss pasta with chicken and sauce mixture. Garnish with Italian seasoning, chopped parsley, and shredded parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
- Dab your Chicken dry with a Paper towel before you coat it with flour, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Do Not Brown your Garlic. Just sauté for 30-45 seconds.
- Do not purchase wines labeled as "cooking wines". They are salty and have many other unwanted additives. Make sure you choose "dry, unoaked white wines" for the best flavors.
Ask Me Anything