I came up with this recipe out of nowhere. I sort of knew how to make Shrimp Scampi but I'm not a huge seafood fan. I can handle shrimp every once in awhile, but it's not an every week thing for me. My wife loves garlic, thus she loves Shrimp Scampi. At the time of this recipe's creation, we were just dating and I wanted to impress her and still enjoy the meal. So, I came up with this. Basically, I ripped out the shrimp and added chicken breast. Then I added bacon because, well, bacon makes everything better. The recipe has changed a lot over the years, but it's still her favorite, even when I screw it up.
Bacon Chicken Scampi
1 lb. of fresh Chicken Breast
4 strips of Thick Cut Bacon
1 1/2 heads of Garlic
1 lb. of Butter
1/2 lb. of Linguini
3/4 cup of 1/2" diced White Onion
2 medium sized Lemons
1/4 cup of White Vinegar
2 tbsp. of Texas Pete's Hot Sauce
1/2 tbsp. of Garlic Salt
1 tsp. of White Pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
3 tsp. of Basil
1 tsp. of Garlic Powder
2 tsp. of Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp. of Smoked Paprika
1/4 cup of diced tomatoes(for garnish)
Bring your pasta water to a boil while you do your prep. Make your linguini according to the instructions on the box. After your pasta is done, reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Cut up your chicken breast into 1/4" strips about 1" inch long. Season with half of the dry seasonings. Zest your lemons and set aside. If you don't have a micro plane for zesting, try a cheese shredder. Cut your lemons and juice, set aside. Dice your onions and peel and finely chop your garlic. Dice your bacon into 3/4" pieces and begin to cook in a good sized fry pan, adding the remaining dry seasonings. Before your bacon begins to firm up, add the onions and continue to saute. As soon as your onions begin to sweat, add your garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes and then add a 1/2 pound of butter. Once your butter melts, add the chicken and let cook one side until you see the chicken start to cook. At this point, add your vinegar, hot sauce, and worcestershire sauce, and about half of your lemon juice. Now flip your chicken and add a little bit of the reserved pasta water, how much will depend on how dry your pan gets.(use your best judgement) You really want to poach the chicken more than saute it, so that it stays nice and moist. Once your chicken is cooked through(should be firm to the touch), lower the heat to a simmer and add the rest of your lemon juice and a 1/4 lb. of butter. If it's looking dry, add a little more of the reserved pasta water. Let it simmer for about 3 more minutes then add your pasta and mix in good. Once there appears to be very little liquid in the pan, add the remaining butter and your lemon zest. Mix in good and let simmer for another 3 minutes. Now you're ready to serve! Place in a bowl or on a plate and garnish with the diced tomato. This will feed 4 people but my wife and I usually eat the whole thing. Enjoy!
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