Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Straight From the Source!

I've mentioned before how cool I think it is that Olive Garden posts their recipes online. Not all of them, mind you. But a lot of them.

It's great to know that you can make some of your restaurant favorites at home if you want to. But honestly, that doesn't stop me from going to the restaurant to have them make it for me either!

Last week, I made Olive Garden's Venetian Apricot Chicken (as well as its accompanying sides). It was a hit. It was definitely a manageable meal to make. You won't be slaving away in the kitchen all day to accomplish this. But it tasted great. Besides that, you can make the chicken on its own and you can make the sides by themselves so that you can mix and match meals. I also discovered with my leftovers that the veggies are fantastic tossed with spaghetti for an impromptu pasta primavera.

So, go out to eat or eat at home...and order the same thing!

Venetian Apricot Chicken


Apricot Sauce:

1/2 cup chicken stock (or chicken broth)
1/2 cup apricot preserves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Tomato Mixture:

1/2 lb. Roma tomatoes, cut into 1" pieces
6 basil leaves, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 tsp garlic pepper
Salt, to taste

Garlic Herb Seasoning:

3 tsp garlic pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Remaining ingredients:

1 bunch asparagus (remove bottom inch of stems)
1/2 lb. broccoli florets
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Chopped parsley, for garnish


Combine Garlic Herb Seasoning ingredients in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

Blend chicken stock and apricot preserves in a sauce pan. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Combine tomatoes, basil, garlic pepper, and salt in a separate mixing bowl and set aside.

Blanch asparagus and broccoli for 1 minute in a pot of salted boiling water. Transfer immediately to ice bath to stop cooking.

Coat saute pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. White keeping ingredients separated in pan, heat cooled asparagus, broccoli and tomato mixture until hot. Do not overcook.

Grill chicken until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Place grilled chicken on a platter next to hot broccoli and asparagus. Sprinkle Garlic Herb Seasoning on broccoli. Pour tomato mixture on top of vegetables.

Top chicken breasts with apricot sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

Source: Olive Garden website. You can find all of their recipes here. You can find this particular recipe here.

Notes: You must use Roma tomatoes. Other tomatoes will be too juicy.

I doubled this recipe (I had guests) and I personally felt that there was more Garlic Herb Seasoning than I could possibly use. I used about half of it and felt like I had used plenty. I would say to use this seasoning to your own taste. Besides, it would keep well in a covered container and you could use it in the future for a number of things.

I prefer my asparagus roasted in the oven. I cooked the asparagus and broccoli together in the boiling water for just over a minute (I cooked it longer than a minute because my water stopped boiling when I dropped the veggies in). I should have stuck to a minute. The broccoli was great, but the asparagus was a little too soft for my tastes. But at any rate, both the broccoli and the asparagus could have been a little more crisp for my liking. So, if you blanch your veggies, do it for a minute or less...and no more than that! Or, you could roast your asparagus, as we have here. You could also skip blanching your broccoli and simply saute it if you want it even crispier.

When I sauteed my vegetables, I sauteed the tomatoes separately. I separated my veggies for presentation.

Oh, and don't forget...

Toss your leftover veggies with some spaghetti (or other favorite pasta) for a lovely pasta primavera!


  1. Wow, really good. Does Pete eat this?

  2. Peter would have eaten at least the chicken and rolls if his cousin Cameron hadn't been there. I knew the kids would be crazy hyped up, so I made them grilled cheese sandwiches and gave them bags of chips for their dinner. They all actually ate most of that. :)

    Oh, and I forgot to add the picture of the leftover veggies tossed with spaghetti. That was really tasty too. The picture has now been added so everyone can check it out!

  3. Yum! Sounds super simple and inexpensive too!

  4. I'm going to attemp to make this for dinner this week!

  5. I hope you like it, Shandie! It was a hit with everyone over here!