Hey guys! Long time no blog, eh? Yeah... unfortunately I fell out of it for a while, but I'm back now and hope to be back at it for a long time to come. :-)
So I thought I'd return with a nice comfort food dish to share with you all today. I made this last night, Sunday night, which was the day after a very long and busy Saturday. It consisted of Mark and a portion of his family/friends working together to make 400 lbs of homemade sausage and of me feeding them all. Needless to say we were both very tired and worn out the following day. I tend to respond to days like this in one of two ways: lay around all day like a lazy lump or putz around the kitchen all day. I definitely thought the former was going to happen, but the latter is what actually transpired. I was just in the mood to cook and take my time doing it. But, since I was pretty tired from the day before, I felt like making something comforting. Something we both hadn't had in a while. Something that I had all the ingredients for already in the pantry/freezer/fridge because I was in no way planning on leaving the house for ingredients. No way.
So Chicken Parmesan it was! I decided to go out to FoodNetwork.com and grab a Tyler Florence recipe because he has never steered me wrong. I really love his recipes and this one was no different. I love the addition of Kalamata olives in the marinara sauce and the shredded Parmesan cheese in the bread crumbs to create a more flavorful breading.
See how I made this after the jump.
I followed the recipe for the most part, only changing a couple things (which I will point out as I walk you through the steps).
I started by heating some light olive oil over medium heat and adding onions, garlic, and a couple bay leaves, cooking and stirring for about 5 minutes.
Next, I added a jar of our San Marzano tomato sauce (straight from our garden in 2014) instead of the crushed tomatoes. I also added the Kalamata olives, but I decided to chop them first. Also, instead of fresh basil, I used dried basil. I just eyeballed the amount, but I'd say it was around a teaspoon. I then added salt, pepper, and a couple pinches of sugar. I combined everything and let it simmer for about 15 minutes uncovered.
While the sauce was simmering, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees F and got a pasta pot of water boiling. I ended up boiling 1 lb of penne pasta, drained it once it was al dente, hit it with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled it with some shredded Parmesan cheese. I set the pasta aside until the chicken was ready to serve.
Next, I set up my breading station. Flour with salt and pepper in one bowl, two eggs beaten with a little water in the second bowl, and plain bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil, garlic powder, and a little shredded Parmesan cheese in the third bowl.
The recipe really doesn't call for adding all that stuff to the bread crumbs, but in Tyler Florence's video that I found on the recipe page for this recipe, he adds all that stuff to his and it looked good. Again, I eyeballed all the amounts... just a little bit of this, a little bit of that.
Next, I took four boneless, skinless chicken breasts and covered them with plastic wrap, then pounded them with a meat mallet until they were about 1/2 inch thick.
I breaded each chicken breast by following the dry-wet-dry method. I dredged each chicken breast first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then in the bread crumbs mixture. Once all four chicken breasts were breaded, I fried them up in some light olive oil until golden brown on each side. This is where the rest of the photos show off the splattered oil all over my stove. The oil was spitting a little bit before I got the chicken breasts into it because there was a little water in the pan (oopsies)...
Then, since I had a bunch of it on hand, I used regular shredded mozzarella cheese instead of the fresh buffalo mozzarella and sprinkled it all over the top. I added a little dried basil and parsley to the top as well for more flavor and color.
Finally, I put the whole pan in the oven to finish cooking. I left it in the oven until the cheese was starting to turn a golden brown and the marinara sauce was bubbly.
It was a beautiful sight when it came out of the oven. I mean... c'mon.
I decided to serve mine with the penne pasta I boiled up earlier, spooning some extra sauce over the pasta. I also toasted up a few pieces of sliced baguette with olive oil for some crunch on the side. Serve this dish up with a cold green salad for a delicious dinner any day of the week.
Well, it's good to be back. Please let me know if you decide to make this dish and if you did, comment below and share how it turned out for you. Did you change anything? How did it look? Email me a pic of your version and I'll post it on the Share Your FOODIE Photos! page.
Take care and I'll see you next week.