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Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated nearly 30 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country.

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Chicken Margherita


Chicken Margherita
Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

Serves 6

Chicken:
6 (4 oz.) boneless chicken breasts
2 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Pesto:
2 cup fresh basil
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts, if desired

Lemon Garlic Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth





Assembly:
6 grilled boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup prepared Pesto
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
6 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 cup prepared Lemon Garlic Sauce


For the Chicken: Combine the water, salt and sugar in a resealable plastic bag and mix  until dissolved. Add the chicken and refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours.

Grill the chicken until it's cooked through to a minimum internal  temperature of 165 degrees about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat,  set aside or keep covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to
assemble.

To make the Pesto: Combine all of the ingredients starting with 3 tablespoons of the  olive oil in a mini food processor and blend until the consistency is  smooth. If needed, add the additional 1 tablespoon of oil. Keep stored in a tight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lemon Garlic Sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter, add the garlic and sauté for  about 1 minute; then stir in some flour. Add fresh lemon juice and  chicken broth and stir about 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce starts to  thicken. You can make this the night before and keep covered in the  refrigerator until ready to assemble.


Chicken Margherita Assembly: First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees; then place the grilled chicken in  an oven safe baking dish. Top each chicken breast with mozzarella, pesto and then top with  halved grape tomatoes.

Next, pour the lemon garlic sauce on top of the chicken and bake for  10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese melts.

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