5/4/2021 – We made this based on a copycat recipe for the popular dish at Olive Garden. Many things are different from that copycat version as this is a Cajun version while that was more of an Italian version. What we made was very rich and much enjoyed. This made 6 servings…lotsa leftovers!!!
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces and salted to dry brine for a couple of hours
- 5-6 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
- Creole seasoning by Kit Whol
- salt and ground black pepper
- Red Pepper flakes from cayenne peppers grown in our garden
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- pasta boiled in shrimp broth made with the shells and heads. This cook used Spaghetti although linguine was recommended.
- 6 slices smoked bacon, cut into 1/4″ wide pieces
- 8 large green onions from our garden [recommended alternate was “1 onion, diced”]
- 1-½ cups half and half
- 1-½ cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 jumbo egg yolks
- ¼ cup semi-dry Chardonnay
- Shell, head, and devein the shrimp. SIMMER covered the shells and heads for no more than 5 minutes for the best shrimp flavor, Then let them cool while preparing everything else. See Cooks Illustrated test kitchen findings.
- Skin and debone the chicken thighs. Cut them into bite-size pieces and salt them lightly to dry brine.
- Mince the garlic and chop the green onions
- Separate the egg yolks.
- Measure the Half & Half and let warm for maybe 30 minutes.
- Chop the bacon into ½” long by the normal width pieces.
- Add a 2-count pour of olive oil and salt to the shrimp broth and bring to a boil. Add the dry pasta. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain, add 2-3 Tbsp of butter, mixing it in with your hands, then cover until ready to serve.
- Heat a 3-count pour of olive oil in the 12″ Chalphalon pan with the glass lid over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken with 1 heaping tablespoon of garlic, 3-4 shakes of Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until cooked lightly. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.
- Add enough olive oil and 3 heaping tablespoons of garlic. Add shrimp and more Creole Seasoning. Saute shrimp until pink on the outside. Add to the bowl with the chicken.
- Add bacon to the pan; cook until just crispy, not crunchy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Saute onion in the bacon grease lightly so still a bit crunchy.
- Drizzle wine into the pan with the onions to deglaze it. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cook until wine is mostly evaporated. [Next time do not evaporate as much liquid]
- While the onion is sauteing, mix half-n-half, Parmesan cheese, egg yolks, salt, pepper, and Creole Seasoning together in a bowl.
- Add the creamy egg cheese mixture. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce begins to thicken but not too thick..like a wine-butter-cheese-cream sauce.
- Add the chicken and shrimp; mix to coat. Serve on top of pasta.
Next Time to Make it Even Better
- Use more garlic.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes in step 3 or 4.
- Add more wine so the sauce is not so thick. Perhaps not cooking it down so much would achieve the same goal.
- Add more red pepper flakes each time with the Creole seasoning to give it a bit more kick.