This post was originally published on April 27th for National Shrimp Scampi Day without pictures.
I don’t eat seafood. But we like chicken, lemon, butter, and pasta. So we don’t do shrimp scampi, but chicken scampi instead!
We were watching The Pioneer Woman one day and she was making shrimp scampi with pasta. Now, my husband is a big fan of lemon butter sauce, but knows I absolutely will not touch seafood. Instead, loving husband that he is, he asked if I could make it with chicken.
Of course I could make it with chicken! And it was so easy that, whenever my parents give us lemons from their tree or if we have a couple lying around, you can be sure I’m making this.
Now, we don’t strictly follow The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. For one, neither of us likes onions. But it’s still delicious and doesn’t take long to whip up, a half hour from start to finish for me!
How We Make Chicken Scampi
To start, I prep. Since pasta water takes just about forever to come to a boil, I usually try to start this first. Then I mince a few garlic cloves, not too much because my husband isn’t a big fan. Then I cut 2 chicken breasts, sometimes more if my husband really wants a lot of it, into 1 inch cubes and put a sprinkle of salt and pepper on them. Finally, I squeeze the juice out of 2 lemons. Or my husband really squeezes the life out of them. What can I say, he really likes lemon!
Now that everything is prepped, take out a big skillet or a pan with sides if you have a lot of chicken or pasta (yes to both for us!). Heat olive oil and butter until the butter is melted.
Toss in the garlic and cook until it starts to brown.
Add the chicken and cook it through.
The Pioneer Woman uses wine, but we don’t drink and have small children. My daughter started eating this at 9-10 months. Instead, we use chicken broth, or water if we don’t have any on hand. So now that the chicken is cooked, I add the broth and lemon juice and turn the heat down low.
During this time, the pasta water is usually ready and the pasta should be just about done. The Pioneer Woman uses Angel hair pasta, but we have a thing for rotini and sometimes spaghetti, but those spirals really enchant us.
The sauce is finished by now, so I add about a cup of the pasta water to help thicken it. Finally, I add the pasta and toss it in the sauce. From here you can garnish with cheese and fresh herbs, but we leave it plain.
I’m putting our version here, but you can get The Pioneer Woman’s recipe at the link above. Happy cooking!
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 chicken breasts, cubed
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mince garlic, cube chicken breasts, and juice lemons. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken.
- Bring pasta water to a boil.
- While boiling pasta water, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet until butter melts. Toss in garlic and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
- Add the chicken and cook through.
- Pour in lemon juice and broth. Stir and turn heat to low.
- When the pasta is ready, take a cup of the water and add it to the sauce.
- Drain pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss.
Whether you enjoy seafood or not, enjoy some scampi today!