The Cheesecake Factory is probably on my top list of great food chain restaurants. Even with an extensive menu, many of the dishes taste great and they're very consistent across the board. Only recently did I discover that the Cheesecake Factory published some of their recipes for their most popular dishes on their website; can you sense my excitement? On that list included a dish called chicken Bellagio which consists of crispy pan-fried chicken over basil pasta with prosciutto and parmesan cream sauce. I never tried this meal at the restaurant but since the recipe was available, why not attempt to make this dish myself?
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup olive oil
Parmesan cream sauce
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb spaghettini pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded approximately 6 inches wide
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1- ounce prosciutto
- ½ cup baby arugula
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Prepare the basil oil. Blanch basil in hot water for 10 seconds. Immediately transfer to an ice bath and let cool. Squeeze out the excess water. Blend the basil with ¼ cup olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes then strain the oil, discarding the basil but keeping the oil.
- Prepare the parmesan cream sauce. Heat ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoon flour once the butter has melted, whisking together until combined. Slowly add 1 cup heavy cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Add 1 cup grated Parmesan and heat until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add spaghettini and cook until al dente about 8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Toss in olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Coat both sides of the chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg and water mixture followed by the breadcrumbs. Carefully lay chicken in the hot pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Heat 2 tablespoon basil oil with chicken broth in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Add 1 tablespoon butter and stir to incorporate. Add the pasta and ¼ cup parmesan/romano blend.
- Assemble the plates. Portion pasta onto two plates. Ladle parmesan cream sauce on pasta followed by the chicken cutlets. Drizzle remaining parmesan cream sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle chopped parsley and top with prosciutto.
- Toss arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Finish plates with fresh arugula salad. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
The Cheesecake Factory has been generous enough to share their recipes; however, not all of the details are given. But then again, how can you blame them since they probably want some things to stay a secret, right?
The chicken for this dish is a basic flour, egg, bread crumb mixture. I prefer panko, Japanese breadcrumbs, as opposed to regular bread crumbs because it yields a crispier coating. If using panko, season the breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
For the parmesan cream sauce, I prepared a bechamel and added grated parmesan to the mix. Simply heat ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoon flour once the butter has melted, whisking together until combined. Slowly add 1 cup heavy cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Add 1 cup grated Parmesan and heat until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper.
For the basil oil, simply blanch ½ cup basil in hot water for 10 seconds. Immediately transfer to an ice bath and let cool. Squeeze out the excess water. Blend the basil with ¼ cup of olive oil. Let sit for 30 minutes then strain the oil, discarding the basil but keeping the oil. Have leftover basil oil? Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let sit at room temperature before using it.
Top the chicken and pasta with prosciutto and a lightly dressed arugula salad and you have yourself chicken Bellagio! Once I prepared the dish I realized how basic each component is, but put them all together and you have one fabulous dish. The creamy pasta with the crispy chicken and salty prosciutto is lightened with the arugula salad and all work perfectly together. Now time to try this at the Cheesecake Factory!
For more chicken inspiration check out this spiced roasted chicken with lemon garlic potatoes!