Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Month-of-Chicken: Chicken Scampi ala Cucina Tagliani

We like to eat at local restaurants rather than chains when we go out to dinner. We go out so rarely that it feels good to spend our few bucks where it does the most local good! We have our favorites, of course, and mention some of them in my culinary mystery series books.

One of these great local restaurants is Cucina Tagliani which has two locations, the original in Glendale and a newer one in Peoria, Arizona. I love their chicken scampi, and this is my attempt to replicate it. Their’s is better; there is no doubt. But when I can’t get to Cucina Tagliani, this works pretty well for our family.

Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps. This is really easy to do. Honest! And this is the sauce for my shrimp scampi, so you're getting a two-fer here!

I list red pepper flakes as an option. I prefer without. Guess who likes it with red pepper! Oh, and if you’re looking for diet food, this ain’t it! So with apologies to Cucina Tagliani, here’s my . . .

Chicken Scampi ala Cucina Tagliani (serves 4)

Chicken Strips:
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 c flour
1 t salt
1 t pepper
3 eggs
¼ c milk
½ c olive oil (add more if needed while frying)

Scampi Sauce:
4 T butter
2 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 T basil
1 t parsley
1 t red pepper flakes, optional
1 c white wine
1 c chicken broth
½ lemon, juiced; remaining half cut in thin slices

1# angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions

Chicken Strips:
Heat olive oil in large skillet.

Whip eggs with milk. Set aside. Combine flour and spices. Dip chicken strips into flour mix, then into egg mix, then into flour mix again. Place in hot skillet and brown on both sides. Cook about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and drizzle with ¼ cup scampi sauce. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Scampi Sauce (divided):
In a small to medium skillet, melt butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Add garlic. Cook for one minute. Add spices. Stir to incorporate. Whisk in wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice. Cook until reduced by ½ (~ 15-20 minutes). Remove ¼ cup sauce to coat chicken. Remove another ¼ cup to drizzle over chicken upon serving. Toss remaining sauce with pasta.

Cook according to package directions. When al dente dish, place in skillet with scampi sauce and toss to coat. Serve onto plates, top with chicken strips, and drizzle remaining scampi sauce over the chicken.

Serve with Asiago cheese on the side and a healthy portion of Caesar salad and crusty bread.

DH’s Rating: 4 Tongues Up! He likes the taste (especially with the red pepper flakes), but he is so health conscious that he feels guilty eating this dinner. Too bad! Every once in a while, I like us to indulge.


  1. What a great recipe love all the flavors in this my kind of Chicken dish thanks for your lovely comments nice to meet you !!!! Your blog is great I love how the ease of the recipe draws you in.. great job!

  2. Thanks so much, Claudia. That means a lot coming from a pro like you! From your own extensive presence on-line, I can tell cooking is as important to you as it is to me.