Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chicken Parmesan

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 4 servings


* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
* 1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
* 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed
* Pinch sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon water
* 1 cup dried bread crumbs
* 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
* Freshly grated Parmesan
* 1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente


Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the
oil gets hazy, add the onions, garlic, and bay leaves; cook and stir
for 5 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the olives and some
hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes (nothing splashes like
tomatoes), cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce
is thick, about 15 minutes; season with sugar, salt and pepper. Lower
the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little
assembly line. Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board
and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts
with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Put the
flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and
pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine
the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a
plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large
oven-proof skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets
in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat
completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread
crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4
minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with
mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15
minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

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