When you think of Italian cuisine, spaghetti and pizza are perhaps the first foods to come to mind. However, Italian cuisine is a lot more varied than you think. There are a variety of chicken dishes that are popular, especially at Italian restaurants in the U.S. Here are a few such chicken dishes worth trying the next time you are out.
This is perhaps the most common Italian chicken dish because it is so simple. The dish consists of a breaded, fried chicken cutlet or breast, topped with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and served on a bed of pasta and red sauce. Some restaurants bake the chicken in the red sauce, and others add the sauce afterward. The former preparation method results in crispier chicken, which most people prefer.
If you love mushrooms, then chicken marsala is a dish you must try. Chicken is pan-fried along with mushrooms, onions, prosciutto, and other seasonings. It is finished with a delicate white wine sauce, made in the pan. Some restaurants will serve it with pasta, such as linguine noodles, on the side. Others will serve it over rice.
Chicken scallopini is another lighter, more elegant dish that's perfect for those who don't love red sauce. A chicken cutlet is again breaded and seared in a skillet. Then, a sauce is made using lemon juice, capers, and some white wine. The dish is almost always served over rice, often with a side of broccolini.
If you love the flavor of sage, this is the perfect chicken dish for you. Chicken is rolled up with leaves of fresh sage and thin slices of prosciutto. Depending on the chef's preferences, the chicken may or may not be breaded before being pan-seared. Then, a sauce is made with white wine, chicken stock, and parmesan cheese.
Pesto is an Italian sauce that does not get as much attention as it should. It's essentially basil pureed with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and salt. The rich, herbal flavor is the perfect accompaniment for chicken. Some Italian restaurants will cook the chicken in the pesto, while others will serve it with fresh pesto on top. This dish is almost always served with pasta, such as linguine or penne.
The next time you eat at an Italian restaurant, try one of these chicken dishes. You won't be disappointed with the results!