How good is Carrabba's Chicken Bryan? So darn good chickens should be honored to be made into this dish! Made with a basil and sun dried tomato sauce, poured over a tenderized, grilled chicken breast topped with tangy goat cheese.
Mmmmm, Mmmmmm! Some say I am partial because my name is Brian, however, I say that everyone will love this dish and for a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant!
So I present Brian's Chicken Bryan, a copycat of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan.
For two to four people, depending on how hungry you are.
Step 1: Get It Together
Here is a list of all the ingredients you will need for the sauce.
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I cheat a little and buy a jar of minced garlic)
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons of butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup of white wine. (I would recommend a chardonnay or a pinot grigio. Most others are too sweet.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup basil (about ten leaves)
2/3 cup of butter (unsalted, sliced and chilled)
salt and pepper
For the chicken you will need:
2 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
1 tablespoon cooking oil (I suggest something with a high smoke point such as corn, olive or canola)
4 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper
Step 2: Let's Get Cooking
First mince up the garlic and onion.
Then place two tablespoons of butter in the pan with a pinch of salt. Sauté the aromatics until they are soft and tender.
Step 3: The Juice Is Loose
While the sauté is working start to juice the lemon and open the wine. One lemon should do if it is on the large side.
Once the sauté is finished slowly add the lemon juice and wine.
*****CAUTION***** WHEN COOKING WITH ANY FORM OF ALCOHOL YOU MUST TAKE CARE THAT THE VAPORS DON'T IGNITE UNEXPECTEDLY. KEEP A HEAVY LID NEAR BY TO SMOTHER THE FLAMES OR FOR WORSE CASE SCENARIO ALWAYS HAVE A FIRE EXTINGUISHER IN THE KITCHEN.
Raise heat to medium-high and reduce the sauce by half.
While the sauce is reducing this would be a good time to fire up your grill or get the broiler in your oven ready.
Step 4: Slice It Up & Cook It Down
Prepare the tomatoes and basil
While things are cooking, make the basil leaves into a Chiffonade by stacking and rolling up the leaves then slicing them thin.
Set them aside and start slicing the sun dried tomatoes. It is best to cut these up last because they can be a little messy.
Work the sauce
When the sauce is reduced, bring the heat to low and slowly add the 2/3 cup of butter one tablespoon at a time. Only add the next piece once the pervious one is fully incorporated.
Adding the butter slowly will help each piece become fully dissolved and will create an emulsion so you won't have a buttery oil slick floating over your sauce. And who would want that? Yuck!
*Note* It may seem like a lot of butter (because it is) but it is needed to add richness to the very acidic sauce. If you don't want to use this much butter you could cut back on the lemon juice but either way I wouldn't use less than 1/3 a cup.
Once the butter is mixed in, turn off the heat and add the basil and tomatoes. Stir to combine and heat them up a little.
Now for a little trick. You want to keep the sauce warm but keeping it over heat can cause it to break. The best thing to do is pour the sauce into a thermos or vacuum flask and keep it sealed until the chicken is ready. If you are like myself and don't have a thermos you can always use a reusable coffee mug that is well insulated.
Step 5: And Now We Grill
Prep that chicken
I let my chicken sit out while I started making the sauce. Letting it get close to room temp helps it cook faster on the grill and won't dry it out as easily. I know that makes some people squeamish so skip this step if you so desire.
Here is where the serving size can be changed. Either butterfly two chicken breast for two or cut them all the way through for a serving of four.
Next you want to tenderize. Place chicken between two layers of plastic wrap and get to pounding. Don't have a tenderizer you say? Neither do I. Just use a heavy jar or can, this jar of cocktail sauce did the job fine.
Give the chicken a light coat of oil and season with salt.
Drop it on the grill for 6 minutes a side. I rotate the chicken 45 degrees half way through to get those nice diamond pattern grill marks. Flip and repeat on the other side. Once the chicken has a minute left to cook place about one ounce of goat cheese on each half. This will warm the cheese through and soften it up a bit.
The chicken should be cooked until the juices run clear or about 165 degrees.
Step 6: Time to Eat
Plate your delicious looking chicken and pour over the hot and creamy sauce.
I like to eat mine with some Carrabba's side dishes such as garlic mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. (those will have to be another Instructable)