I had to fend off my husband to get three minutes alone with this plate of food and photograph it before Sam gobbled it up. Literally. That's how good this recipe is, you guys.
We first had this sun-dried tomato basil cream sauce a few years ago at my family's house in Alpine. It quickly became Sam's favorite, and whenever it was his birthday, he'd request that Krysti make it for him. I finally wised up and got the recipe from her. The rest is history, as they say. Sam requests it for every single birthday. And Father's Day. And Valentine's Day. And holiday of any kind. And every week when I'm making a grocery list and ask what he wants to eat. Last week we had it just because it was Monday.
In fact, if you've been over for dinner in the last year, chances are we've served you this dish. Or homemade Cafe Rio. We're currently on a homemade Cafe Rio kick.
I can't begin to explain how good this recipe is. First, I start with chicken tenderloins, coat them in crunchy Italian breadcrumbs, and bake them until the chicken falls apart in your mouth. Then, I top it with sun-dried tomato basil sauce. The sauce is easy to make and full of flavorful garlic, sweet basil, delicious cream, melted parmesan cheese, and pops of sun-dried tomatoes (which I don't usually like, but trust me, they are so good in this recipe). Last, I drizzle the sauce over the chicken, add some rice pilaf and whatever baked vegetable I'm in the mood for, et voila. Heaven in my mouth.
Here's the recipe. It was originally adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything, but I've changed it enough over the years that I claim it as my own. (In my apparently-not-humble-at-all opinion, I've managed to make it both easier and more delicious.)
You're welcome in advance.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL CREAM SAUCE
6 Tbs butter, divided
6 chicken tenderloins, thawed (or 3 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise)
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth (or 1 chicken bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
THE CHICKEN: Preheat the oven to 375. Melt 3 Tbs butter in a bowl and put breadcrumbs in a second bowl. Dip chicken tenderloins in the butter and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place each coated chicken piece in a baking dish (I use an ungreased 11x7 baking dish). Cook in oven for about an hour, or until crispy on edges and very tender in the middle.
THE SAUCE: Melt 3 Tbs butter on a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add crushed garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cream and sun-dried tomatoes; bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Add parmesan cheese, basil and pepper. Heat through.
Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and serve with this rice pilaf and roasted broccoli or zucchini. And if some sauce accidentally gets on the rice pilaf, well, there's really nothing you can do except eat it (and rejoice in the excuse for added sauce).
Yummmmm. Sam just took the last of the leftovers to work today, which is a shame because looking at these pictures makes me wish I was having it again for dinner tonight.
PIN FOR LATER: