Most of us are very familiar with shrimp scampi. It is a well known and well loved Italian-American dish made with lots of garlic and olive oil, both of which are staples in ANY Italian kitchen, as well as my own kitchen (and I am not Italian). In America, we often use shrimp instead of the tiny langoustine, as they are known in Italian or langostino in Spanish. Scampi is Italian for langoustine which are small, tiny lobsters that are more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs than either shrimp or lobsters though. They are the most important commercial crustacean in Europe.
Scampi is traditionally cooked with the small langoustines, although here in America, we often use shrimp of all sizes too. But what do you do when either you do not have shrimp or langoustines or do not have enough? Make it with chicken. Chicken scampi is just as delicious and just as flavorful as shrimp scampi. Or, you can make it with both chicken AND shrimp, like I did, and enjoy the best of both. I used some left over chicken and only had a few shrimp left. Neither would have been enough for a meal on their own, but by combining them together, we had plenty, AND I created a new dish. As I always say, be creative and work with what you have. When cooking in my kitchen, you never know what is going to happen. You just have to go with the flow. We enjoyed our chicken and shrimp scampi with some garlic-herb cheese bread and a delicious, crisp white blend.
Lemony Chicken and Shrimp Scampi
1 lb chicken, sliced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup flour, divided
6 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP garlic
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 TBSP lemon pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 TBSP mixed herbs – lemon verbena, thyme, basil, chopped fine or 2 tsp dried herbs, optional
4 TBSP butter
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together, then coat the chicken with it. Beat the eggs together and dip the chicken in it. Heat 2 TBSP of the olive oil then carefully place the chicken strips into the oil and cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside. Because I used chicken that was already cooked, I skipped this part.
Saute the shrimp, garlic and bell pepper in the oil and about 1/2 of the butter for about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp is completely cooked and is a nice shade of coral-pink.
Add the wine and let cook for about for about 1 minute.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes.
When the sauce thickens to your liking, it is ready to serve. I served it over angel hair pasta, but you can eat it on it’s own or serve it over rice too. If you like, top it with some Parmigiano cheese and mangia!
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.