Chicken Crostina Debuts at Olive Garden

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At-home recipe and step-by-step online cooking demonstration showcase new Culinary Institute of Tuscany-inspired dish.

Olive Garden will add Chicken Crostina, the newest dish inspired by Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany, to the menu from April 9 through May 27.

Olive Garden's Chicken Crostina begins with tender chicken breasts that have been marinated in olive oil and rosemary then lightly breaded. The chicken is sautéed with fresh garlic and diced Roma tomatoes in a creamy garlic-butter sauce and served over linguine pasta. A crust of breadcrumbs, finely shredded potatoes, herbs, and Parmesan, mozzarella and Romano cheeses - for which the dish is named - crowns the chicken with a golden brown layer. A Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or a blend of both varietals, such as Bertani's Due Uve, literally translated as "two grapes," pairs especially well with this dish.

Beginning April 9, guests can visit http://www.olivegarden.com/recipes/ for the at-home recipe of Chicken Crostina and prepare it alongside Olive Garden Senior Executive Chef Paolo Lafata through one of several online cooking demonstrations available to view or download as a podcast.

Guests who dine in the restaurant during the promotional period will also receive one of three recipe cards featuring a Culinary Institute of Tuscany-inspired dish: the limited-time Chicken Crostina, or regular menu items Shrimp & Asparagus Risotto and Tuscan Garlic Chicken.

Chicken Crostina is the newest entrée inspired by Olive Garden's Culinary Institute of Tuscany, where many of the dishes on the menu originate. Located in a restored 11th-century village in Castellina in Chianti, Olive Garden brings more than 100 managers to its Culinary Institute of Tuscany every year to train and learn the time-honored traditions of Italian cooking, such as selecting only the freshest ingredients, how to properly layer sauces to build flavor, perfecting al dente pasta, and pairing sauces and pasta to create the most flavorful meals.

"Throughout generations, Italians have used a variety of ingredients to crust poultry, meats and seafood as a way to seal in moisture, enhance flavor and add interesting textures to their recipes," said Sicily-native and Olive Garden Senior Executive Chef Paolo Lafata. "We continue this tradition with Chicken Crostina, which brings timeless cooking techniques and distinct Italian flavors to the table."

For Lafata's tips on creating delicious dishes with ingredients such as homemade bread crumbs, potatoes, herbs or cheeses, visit http://www.olivegarden.com/press/fact_sheets/crusting_fact.asp.

Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with 603 restaurants, more than 70,000 employees and $2.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE:DRI), the world's largest casual dining company in sales and market share. For more information, visit Olive Garden's Web site at http://www.olivegarden.com.

AT-HOME RECIPE FOR OLIVE GARDEN'S CHICKEN CROSTINA
Serves Six

Wine Pairing Recommendation: Bertani Due Uve

Ingredients:
Potato crust (recipe below)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups and 1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon roasted garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound linguine
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup Roma tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Potato Crust

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 small potato, peeled and grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  • Using a spoon, thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Assembling Chicken Crostina

Preparation:

  • In a shallow dish, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Dredge chicken breasts in the mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Cook chicken breasts two at a time over medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Add more olive oil for each batch as necessary.
  • Place cooked chicken breast on a baking sheet or dish and top with the potato crust mixture. Transfer the baking sheet to a pre-heated broiler until golden brown (1-2 minutes).
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan. Add roasted garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon of flour and white wine and bring to a boil. Add heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of parsley and tomatoes. The sauce is done when it is bubbling throughout and has started to thicken.
  • Coat pasta with sauce, then top with chicken and remaining sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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KATIE LENNON
Olive Garden
954-776-1999 240
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