Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. owns and operates Morton's of Chicago, a high-end steakhouse restaurant chain aimed at a business clientele, and Bertolini's Authentic Trattorias, a smaller chain offering Italian specialties in a casual dining atmosphere. At the end of 1998 Morton's Restaurant Group owned and operated 43 Morton's of Chicago and 12 Bertolini's units. All Morton's of Chicago restaurants were similar in style, concept, and decor, and were located in retail, hotel, commercial, and office building complexes in major metropolitan areas and urban centers. Catering primarily to business-oriented clients, Morton's of Chicago had an average per person check of about $65 in 1998. The Bertolini's restaurants offered white tablecloth service, with an average per person check of about $20. Morton's Restaurant Group also held a minority of stock in two other restaurant chains, Mick's and Peasant.

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Chicken Christopher


CHICKEN CHRISTOPHER
Morton's Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

Alexander Bread Crumbs:
2 cups bread crumbs
5 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Chicken:
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast
salt and white pepper, to taste
flour, 1 or 2 cups, as needed
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter (more if needed)
16 ounces pasta noodles of your choice, (cooked according to package directions)

Garlic Butter Sauce:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and white pepper, to taste

To make bread crumb mixture: Combine all ingredients and set aside.

To make the chicken: Halve chicken breasts, making 2 roughly 3-inch square pieces. Pound each piece 1/4 inch thick. Season pieces with salt and pepper. Spoon flour into a rimmed plate. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl. Place Alexander bread crumbs in another shallow plate or dish. Dip each chicken piece in flour, covering it completely, then in the egg, then in the Alexander bread crumbs. Set aside on wax paper or a wire rack. (Make your garlic butter sauce now.)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan set over medium-high heat. Heat until butter foams. When foam subsides, lay 2 or 3 chicken pieces flat in the pan and cook until browned on both sides (about 3 minutes on each side -- the chicken will cook quickly because it's so thin). Set aside cooked chicken while you brown the other pieces. Add remaining tablespoon butter, and more if needed.

To make garlic butter sauce: In a large saucepan set over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft. Add wine. Increase heat to medium-high, bring wine to a boil and allow it to cook until only about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain in the pan.

Add cream, lower heat to medium, and cook until liquid steams. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Do not let liquid boil. (Note: You can stop at this point and let the mixture sit until you're ready to proceed with the recipe. When you're ready, reheat it and stir in the butter).

Reduce heat to low, and add the remaining butter (somewhat softened), a little at a time. Use a wire whisk to whip the sauce and keep it smooth, making sure mixture is well-blended before adding more butter. When butter has been whipped in, add lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Serve at once.

The recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups. Leftovers can be reheated, but the butter will have to be re-whisked, and the texture is never as creamy as when the sauce is first made.

To Serve:  Set 2 pieces of chicken at one side of a plate. Place 1 serving pasta on the other side. Pour garlic butter sauce over all. Repeat with remaining chicken and pasta. Ladle sauce over chicken and pasta.

Notes: Have the finished Alexander bread crumbs ready, and begin the garlic butter sauce before you saute the chicken.

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