Active Prep: 40 min. Inactive Prep: 12 min.
Difficulty: Medium
Yield: 4 servings

The menu describes this dish as “Parmesan-crusted chicken served over pasta with mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions in a spicy New Orleans sauce.” Of the many great pastas on The Cheesecake Factory’s menu, this one consistently ranks as a top choice, so a Top Secret Recipes hack was inevitable. To clone this recipe you must first start with the delicious, yet simple-to-make, New Orleans sauce, which is basically an alfredo sauce with a little paprika for color and cayenne pepper for kick. The chicken is breaded with a combination of panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and pan-fried to a golden brown. In true Cheesecake Factory style, this recipe makes four very large servings, but you can also serve this dish on one big platter for a nice family-style feast. 

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups heavy cream
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound farfalle pasta
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper Vegetable oil
2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
½ cup diced red bell pepper
 ½ cup diced yellow bell pepper
¼ cup chopped green onion (white and light green parts only)
4 teaspoons minced garlic

Minced fresh parsley

  1. Make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the garlic and cook it slowly in the butter for 5 minutes. Don’t let it brown.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, increase the heat to medium, and cook until the mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. 
  3. Prepare the farfalle pasta by dropping it into 4 to 6 quarts of boiling water in a large pot. Cook for 11 to 12 minutes, or until the pasta is done. Drain. 
  4. Make two thinner chicken fillets from each chicken breast by slicing each one in half through the middle. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and pound the fillets to about ¼ inch thick with a kitchen mallet.
  5. Pour the flour into a medium bowl. Combine the beaten eggs and milk in another medium bowl. Combine the bread crumbs, ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a third medium bowl. 
  6. Preheat about ¼ inch of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. 
  7. Bread the chicken by coating each fillet first with the flour, then dip it into the egg/milk mixture. Let the excess egg/milk drip off, then press each fillet into the bread crumbs/Parmesan. Flip each fillet over a couple of times to make sure it’s well breaded. 
  8. Cook the fillets in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. Drain the fillets on a paper towel–lined plate. 
  9. Prepare two servings at a time by heating 1 tablespoon of oil over medium/high heat. Add 1 cup of mushrooms, ¼ cup of red bell pepper, and ¼ cup of yellow bell pepper. Add 2 tablespoons green onion and 2 teaspoons garlic. Cook for 2 minutes or until the peppers begin to brown. Add half of the pasta to the pan and toss it until it’s hot, then turn off the heat. Stir in half of the New Orleans sauce. Divide the pasta onto two serving plates. Arrange two breaded chicken fillets, chopped in half, on top of the pasta on each plate. Sprinkle each serving with parsley. Repeat for the remaining servings. 

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