chicken bellagio;

Installment 2 of Copycat week!  The first installment was stuffed chicken marsala! Chicken Bellagio is hands-down one of my favorite meals of all time!  And I eat a lot, so that should tell you something.  This recipe is another one that shows you can have all the comforts and cravings of restaurant meals at home!  Courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory. As far as I know I haven’t heard or seen of it anywhere else, so I’m going with that.  In fact, it’s about the only dish (other than happy hour apps) that I order when I go there.  It’s a huge portion, it’s amazingly delicious, and besides, their menu choices are super overwhelming.  So I stick to tried and true.  For those of you that haven’t experienced this bliss yet, Chicken Bellagio is a thin chicken breast over pesto pasta, with a pesto-cream sauce and topped with pine nuts, prosciutto, and arugula.  If your mouth’s not watering, I’m not sure you read that right!

Pesto pasta for Chicken Bellagio @ tipsychocochip.com

I believe the traditional Cheesecake Factory dish is actually a breaded and fried chicken cutlet, whereas this recipe uses only flour.  So this recipe may not be exactly the same–I think you’ll find that with most “copycat” recipes.  But it sure as heck is delicious.  And it’s close and tasty enough to satisfy my cravings if lo-and-behold suddenly my walking access to Cheesecake Factory is gone in a poof.

Frying up Chicken Bellagio @ tipsychocochip.com

The recipe does take a little bit of work, not because it’s a hard recipe, simply because there’s just a large number of ingredients.  I promise it’s all worth it though.  That luscious sauce…yum, just thinking about it makes me hungry!  I’ve also made this countless times using a scrambled egg, yolk and all, rather than the egg whites.  Same difference to me!  Not worth wasting the yolk unless you’re gonna use it for something else.

Saucing up Chicken Bellagio @ tipsychocochip.com

Also make sure you have enough pesto.  Pesto is what really makes the dish, and don’t forget that you want enough to coat the pasta, as well as for the sauce!  It’s more than you think.  This recipe is perfect to pull out your thawed homemade pesto if you have any, or if not, store-bought will work just as well!

Chicken Bellagio @ tipsychocochip.com

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