Chicken Giardino (with a warning)


DO NOT make this meal when…..
1. Your husband is not home for work yet to entertain the kids while you cook.

2. It is no T.V. week at home.

3. Your oldest shuts your youngest finger in the front door.

4. Your youngest decides to spill an entire package on mini chocolate chips on the floor.

5. You step on that piece of glass on the floor from a plate that broke 2 months ago, when you swear all of it was vacuumed up.

6. The bowl of jelly beans falls off the table.

7. Your oldest thinks it would be funny to slap your butt really hard when you are using your chefs knife to cut a red pepper, in turn, slicing your finger.
8. Your youngest thinks its fun to cut one of those thin static-y produce bags into one million pieces.(um yeah, try picking that up)

8. And most importantly DONT NOT MAKE THIS MEAL WHEN YOU ARE P.M.S’ ing.

Good mighty heavens above, it took me over two hell-ish hours to cook dinner tonight. It was good and all, but DAMN!!

Ohhh, Happy day!


(Olive Garden)


Sauce: ****I made double batch of this sauce****
1 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp dry thyme
½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic pepper
1 Tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup water
¼ cup white wine
1 Tbsp milk
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced width-wise into ½” strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small rosemary sprigs
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ bunch fresh asparagus (remove bottom inch of stem; cut remainder into 1” pieces)
1 zucchini, julienne cut
1 yellow summer squash, julienne cut
2 roma tomatoes, cut into ½” pieces
½ red bell pepper, julienne cut
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup spinach, cut into ½” pieces
½ cup carrots, julienne cut

1 lb farfalle pasta (bow ties), cooked according to package directions


Sauce Preparation:

MELT butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in thyme, garlic pepper and rosemary. Whisk to thoroughly blend and cook for 1 minute.
COMBINE chicken broth, water, wine, milk, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until cornstarch has dissolved and there are no lumps.
ADD liquid mixture to sauce pan. Whisk all ingredients together and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Chicken & Vegetables Preparation:

COMBINE all chicken ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well.
MARINATE for 30 minutes.
HEAT a saute pan over medium high heat. Add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
SAUTE chicken strips until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
ADD all vegetables and sauté until cooked through.
ADD cooked, drained pasta and sauce to sauté pan. Stir until pasta is thoroughly coated with sauce.
TRANSFER to a serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley.


  1. 1
    Coleen's Recipes says:

    This sounds really delicious!! Sorry you had such a bad day. Some days I really miss having the kids in the house…but most days, I’m so glad that they are grown up and life is so much simpler.

  2. 2

    LOL oh my gosh – that’s so adorable and funny! I probably wouldn’t think it’s very adorable or funny if I had kids and it happened to me. So I should be more compassionate.

    Ouch, though – hope your foot and finger are okay! I hope dinner was SOOO WORTH the 2 hours!

  3. 3

    It looks delish Les, I’d kill the kids! hahah… 2 hours for a meal in this house just does not happen. I would love to lie and say it does, but yea, no it doesn’t!
    Your food is gourmet, MINE is GourMUTT!
    I could make this with a few HUGE adjustments to be veggie and it would NOT be as good but it would be fast and ok…
    And MY kids are 18 and 22.. They lived to adulthood.
    I bet yours are cute.. Bless their Pointy little Heads! hahhah

  4. 4
    Donna-FFW says:

    Leslie- It sounds absolutely delicious. I bet it was worth the prep time. Love al the veggies in it!

  5. 5

    Man, I thought it was a pain when my girlfriend wants to be moving around our tiny kitchen when I’m cooking. It does look good though. 🙂

  6. 6

    I love the advice! My kids are in college so I am beyond the trying to cook a wonderfulmeal amid chaos. I love theseingredients – it is a wonderful spring pasta… and spring is … sort of … here.

  7. 7

    Oh my did ALL that happen in one day???!!! I feel so sorry for you! I can’t even imagine trying to pick up a mini-chocolate chip spill – they practically melt the minute they touch my fingers. This dish looks great – love all the vegetables!! Hope it was worth the painful 2 hrs!

  8. 8

    Oh wow, what a night – I would have ordered pizza after the chocolate chip incident, you’re a trooper! It looks like it was worth all the effort though – yum! I love all the veggies!

  9. 9
    noble pig says:

    My gawd that was one hell of a night! At least you had food as a reward.

  10. 10
    Cristine says:

    WOW! What a night!!! The dinner looks amazing, though! Hope you are relaxing now!

  11. 11
    Jaime and Jen DISH says:

    Ummm, hello, YUMMERS!!! This looks so tender, moist and delish! I hope you have a better night cooking soon and I hope that glass didn't cut too deep, OUCH!

    Your foodie friend,


    J&J DISH

  12. 12

    I don’t have cooking nights like that, I have months like that. I think the slap on the butt is the funniest, if they only knew how close they come to their last breath on earth sometimes. Timing by kids must be one of God’s lessons.
    This sounds so good, give me pasta any day.

  13. 13

    lol!!! thanks for the tip because i’ll definitely make this soon… 🙂

  14. 14
    VeggieGirl says:

    HAHA!!! You’re too hilarious 😀

  15. 15

    I’d say I hate days like that, but then I’d not be liking pretty much every day around here. Sigh! My little guy goes through every drawer and unlocked cupboard in the kitchen while I’m trying to cook, utensils, canned goods, baking pans, etc. He’s not picky, but sure BUSY at the wrong times! Great post, even better the chicken dish looks de-lish. I ALMOST have everything to make it, everything except two hours! 😉

  16. 16

    That does not sound like a fun evening at all!

  17. 17
    Jennifer says:

    I loved your warnings!!!! So funny! I leave laborious dinners for when hubby is not around…he gets in the kitchen to much!

    Great recipe, I totally need to try!

  18. 18

    That sounds delicious! I think tonight, you should leave dinner in the hubs’ hands. Pizza, anyone?

  19. 19

    Ouch! Don’t you hate when you spent all that damn extra time vacuuming to make you got every last little bit of glass up from the floor and then you still step on the one f** piece! That is one of my biggest pet peeves. Hate that.
    Well, 2 hours later, but still it looks good, at least it didn’t stink after all that time.

  20. 20
    JennyMac says:

    How that dish didn’t end up on one of your kids head while you had all THAT going on….took some amazing strength my sister! OR I would have put my face over the dish with my opposing (non-eating utensil hand/arm)curled around the plate and yelled MINE! Munch munch mmmmfffphf…LOL Looks yummy!

  21. 21

    Look terrific but oh, my goodness ALL THAT happened while you were cooking dinner and you STILL finished cooking? I would have hightailed it into the bathroom screaming for the kids to call there father to come home. It’s times like those I wonder how I’ve never turned to alcohol. 🙂

  22. 22

    You sound like you had my kind of day! Kids=craziness 🙂

  23. 23

    Poor thing! Even with all the stress around you, you still managed to create a delicious dinner. You rock, girl!

  24. 24

    ah, motherhood. i have so much to look forward to. 🙂
    for now, i’ll settle for looking forward to supper, even though i won’t be having anything as glorious as your chicken. 🙂

  25. 25
    Bridgett says:

    Oh no, those days just seem to go on for forever and anything that can happen will! Yikes, I had one of those last week as well. I hope your week goes better. This dish looks absolutely worth all the effort, Leslie!

  26. 26
    J.Danger says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if every recipe came with a warning like that?! Nope- don’t make this tonight. Not a good idea! Maybe next week….it would be fantastic.

  27. 27

    OMG! You poor thing! I hate that I had to laugh at that a little!
    I hope you are healing!
    The dinner does sound fantastic!
    I don’t do much (any) cooking with thyme..but I’m thinking of planting it my herb garden this year. 🙂

  28. 28

    I definitely would have given up and cried or something. Good for you for sticking it out. It looks delicious Leslie!

  29. 29
    Jenn@slim-shoppin says:

    Oi Vay! The dinner looks awesome, but not the preparation!!

    That’s a calgon take me away moment for sure!

    After dinner, I would have told my husband, “it’s your turn” grabbed a glass of wine, and have a nice bubble bath!

    Thanks for sharing!

  30. 30
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    Sounds like you had a crapy night, but I’m sure you felt better after eating that. Looks absolutely delicious!

  31. 31
    Elizabeth says:

    This is my absolute favorite dish at the Olive Garden and I applaud you for sticking it out. I would’ve had a frozen pizza in the oven after hour 1.

  32. 32

    Haha, I might have given up and ordered pizza. Glad you made it through making dinner–and it certainly looks worth the while. Totally yummy!

  33. 33
    MaryBeth says:

    This looks wonderful and I will heed your warnings… Please come by my blog and enter my new cookbook giveaway!

  34. 34
    Calm In The Kitchen says:

    What we go through to make a meal!

    This sounds wonderful, I’m going to try it!

    😉 amy

  35. 35
    Alyssa Goodnight says:

    That looks delish! But I really feel for you. That is a LOT to suffer through for a good meal. 🙂

  36. 36

    Wow, what a rough time. The meal looks perfect though!

  37. 37
    Foodycat says:

    I can’t believe that after all that you cooked an edible dinner! I bow to the goddess of housewifery! I would have been ordering pizza so early on in that process.

  38. 38

    LOL…you ate two portions, didn’t ya , ya Oinker!

    Cook through the bad days – it’s therapeutic….hold the Midol.

  39. 39
    Culinary Wannabe says:

    Oh hun, I cringed for you through every step. Please tell me that you had a large glass of wine to wash it all down with!

  40. 40
    Stephanie says:

    OMGosh you poor thing! I’m so sorry I’m laughing lol. Hope your finger and your foot are OK!

  41. 41

    Sounds like your family obviously didn’t want dinner…just send it my way! Looks super 🙂

  42. 42
    Angeliquez says:

    But omg all that in just one day…
    to me,this recipe sounds worth the hassle!
    amazing to have done it after all that and got it right!


  43. 43
    Mary Ann says:

    This is my absolute favorite dish that they served at the Olive Garden and then only thing I would ever order. Since they took it off the menu I have been disappointed in everything else I have ever tried there. I hope this tastes just like it. I am definitely going to try it and see.

  44. 44

    Bow ties, my favorite! Hope it was worth it in the end!!!

  45. 45

    The meal looks fantastic – but what a bummer of a day! You deserve a big break!

  46. 46

    Crappy day! I’m so sorry! This does look so delicious though!

  47. 47

    Hahaha… this is hilarious! I just came across your blog and really like it. That recipe doesn’t look too shabby either! 🙂 Great photos!

  48. 48

    That is too funny!