The Daley Question

Re-creating restaurant's Tuscan chicken pasta

Hungry reader seeks Rock Bottom's tasty recipe

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Rock Bottom

The roofttop beer garden of the Rock Bottom restaurant on Grand Avenue in downtown Chicago is packed on a Thursday night in this Tribune file photo. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune)

Q:I have eaten at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery several times and LOVE their Tuscan Chicken. Is there a recipe that you could get for this delicious dish? 

Patricia Korns, Westmont

A: Yes! Here's the recipe for Rock Bottom's Tuscan Chicken Pasta from CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., Rock Bottom's parent company in Chattanooga, Tenn.

As with many restaurant dishes, this Tuscan Chicken Pasta recipe includes sub-recipes, for bruschetta tomatoes and garlic butter, that you can make ahead and use any extra for other dishes. The recipe from the company was also for 1 serving; I've taken the liberty of quadrupling it to serve four.

Hopefully, this adapted recipe will get you close to the dining experience you had at Rock Bottom.

I'm very grateful the folks at CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries agreed to share this Rock Bottom recipe. Not all companies or restaurants are as generous.

That leads me to this piece of advice for you and other readers: Remember you can always come up with your own version of almost any restaurant dish. A Google search turned up many recipes of "Tuscan Chicken," for example. All you would have to do is find one you like and tinker with it to match Rock Bottom's menu description for the dish: "Grilled chicken breast sliced and sauteed with diced tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil, then tossed with tender linguine and topped with fresh-grated Asiago cheese."

Tuscan chicken pasta

This recipe calls for grilled chicken. Use it if you have it, otherwise leftover roasted chicken — yours or from the supermarket rotisserie — would work just fine.

1 pound linguine pasta

1/2 cup oil

1 pound grilled chicken, sliced

2 cups bruschetta tomatoes (see accompanying recipe)

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

1/2 cup garlic butter (see accompanying recipe)

1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

8 fresh basil leaves

1.Cook pasta according to manufacturer's directions. Drain. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Stir cooked pasta into the chicken mixture. Swirl in garlic butter.

2.Serve pasta and chicken mixture; sprinkle grated Asiago cheese on top. Garnish each plate with basil leaves.

Bruschetta tomatoes

2 cups tomatoes, diced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3/4 teaspoons each: salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Cover, refrigerate until ready to use.

Roasted garlic butter

This recipe calls for a head of roasted garlic. To make it, slice the top off a head of garlic to expose the top of all the cloves, rub on some olive oil, wrap the head in aluminum foil, bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 to 60 minutes until the cloves are soft and golden brown. Let cool, squeeze cloves into a bowl and set aside. Unused roasted garlic butter may be refrigerated or frozen for future use.

1/2 pound each: butter, margarine

1 head roasted garlic cloves, pureed

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1.Place butter and margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment on medium speed, mix until completely soft and smooth.

2.Add the remaining ingredients and mix until blended. Stop as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even blending.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: wdaley@tribune.com. Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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