Italian Mushroom Asiago Chicken over Simple Garlic Linguine

I love all things Italian, especially the foods. The herbs, the mushrooms, the aromas of garlic filling the kitchen. I adore warm breads dipped in olive oil, pastas with little or no sauce and the clean beauty of a colorful Caprese Salad.  When I saw this recipe at bakeatmidnite.com, I knew I had to give it a try.  It just seemed to go perfectly over a bed of simple garlic linguine. This is a wonderful meal for the whole family. Add a Caprese Salad and a bottle or two of Chianti and it’s perfect for a leisurely supper to share with friends.

Italian Mushroom Asiago Chicken
1 lb thin cut boneless skinless chicken breast
2 cups mushrooms (assortment include shiitake & crimini mushrooms), quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
3 springs fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup seasoned flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded Italian Cheese blend that includes Asiago cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

Seasoned Flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Cut chicken in half. Set aside.

Heat the butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in deep, heavy skillet or saute pan over medium heat.

Dredge chicken in seasoned flour.  Add to hot oil/butter in skillet.  Saute until golden on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from pan.

Add remaining olive oil to hot skillet.  Saute mushrooms and garlic until mushrooms begin to brown.

Add white wine to skillet, scraping up all the browned bits that are at the bottom of the pan. Bruise the fresh thyme by twisting it between your fingers or hitting it with the dull side of a knife in a few places.  Add thyme to mushroom/wine mixture in pan.

Add the chicken back to the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from pan.  Add the cream and heat through. Add the cheese blend and continue to cook, stirring constantly over low heat until cheese melts. Continue cooking until sauce is reduced by about half.

Add chicken back to pan and heat through. Serve over a bed of garlic linguine.

Simple Garlic Linguine
½ Lb Linguine, cooked
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

Bring a pot of well salted water to a boil.

Cook linguine until done al dente – cooked but firm to the bite, about 10 minutes.

While pasta is cooking, heat a small sauté pan, add butter, garlic and oregano. Sauté until the butter is melted. DO NOT let the garlic brown.

Drain pasta, place in a warm serving bowl. Pour butter mixture over pasta, toss to coat evenly.

Transfer linguine to a large serving platter. Place chicken over linguine, spoon mushrooms over chicken and garnish with fresh thyme.

Caprese Salad
3 or 4 tomatoes, good quality, such as heirloom
1 lb fresh mozzarella
fresh Italian basil (do not substitute dried)
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or good quality sea salt

Slice the tomatoes into about 3/8″ thick slices, then slice the mozzarella into the same sized slices.

Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices into a pleasing pattern on a platter or individual plates.

Tuck basil leaves into the arrangement, with a few more in the center. Drizzle with oil and season with salt.

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