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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Expect a lot of caps in your near future because I'm really really really excited about this post. Probably because Chicken Parmesan is one of my absolute FAVORITE things in the world. I think the worst question on the planet is when people ask me "What is your favorite food?" Honestly, don't EVER ask me that question. It makes me stressed and gives me extreme anxiety because I don't want to pick one food over another and leave something out. Seriously just don't ask. But, when people beg and plead and push and prod and don't back down, Chicken Parm is usually the answer I offer. The perfect Chicken Parm is very hard to achieve, however, and few restaurants execute it perfectly. It's either too thin, too dry, too thick, too breaded, or just not right. In my opinion, Piero's (search review) makes the best Chicken Parm I've ever had. The sauce is rich and tomatoey in flavor, the chicken is the perfect width and is effortlessly juicy, and the cheese is melted and broiled to absolute bliss. Well, I've tried to execute Chicken Parm in a similar manner as Piero's, and while it's not perfect, it's pretty dam good.
Chicken Parmesan, for 4

for the sauce
1 16 oz. can, and 1 8oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (total is 3 cups)
2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 vidalia onion, finely chopped
handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste

4 large chicken breasts, pounded out to a medium thickness, about 1/2 an inch
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs, I use panko for extra crunch
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Recipe: First make the sauce. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and vidalia onion and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the canned tomatoes (with juices) in a blender/food processor until smooth. Once the onions are translucent, add the pureed tomatoes and roughly chopped basil to the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and cover and cook for atleast an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Set up a breading station for your chicken. Put the flour on one plate, the egg in a large bowl, and the bread crumbs on another plate. Beat the egg. Dredge each chicken breast in flour, then the egg, and finally coat it in bread crumbs. Once all the breasts are prepared put a large skillet on the stove. Add 2 tbs of butter and melt. Once the butter is melted and hot, add the chicken breasts, and brown each side, about 3 minutes per side. This is a browning step, this will not cook the chicken through. Once each side of the chicken is browned, add them to a glass casserole baking dish and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.

Once the chicken is cooked through remove it from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Ladle the sauce over the chicken. Mix the cheeses together and arrange it on top of the chicken. Put in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and melted. Serve with a nice big bowl of pasta and ladle some of the sauce on that too. YUM-ME
 check please

gotta have my #1

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