Sunday, June 4, 2017

CLASSIC CHICKEN PARMIGIANA - Pollo alla Parmigiana

This is one of North America's favorite Italian dishes. In Italy they make this with veal. I think of this as classic Italian-American comfort food.

Lee's Kitchen Tips:
You may wonder what the difference is between marinara sauce and tomato sauce.
Marinara sauce is a tomato sauce without any meat. Tomato sauce can be flavored with pancetta or other meat and then removed.


Marinara Sauce
3 T extra-light olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 (28-oz) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes
½ t red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ cup dry white wine
1 t granulated sugar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the onions are cooking, pour the tomatoes in a bowl and hand-crush them, removing any hard center cores, and set aside.
Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the saucepan and sauté another minute or two.
Pour the crushed tomatoes into the saucepan and cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, while you prepare the chicken.

Chicken
2 boneless chicken breasts
½ cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg
1 T water
½ cup dry bread crumbs
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
¼ cup extra-light olive oil
6 oz freshly grated or torn mozzarella cheese
2 T thinly sliced fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Now you will have 4 thin chicken breasts.
Place chicken breasts, one at a time, in a large resealable plastic bag and gently pound to an even thickness. Set aside on a large plate.

In a shallow bowl, add the flour and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a second shallow bowl, add the egg and water and whisk with a fork to combine.
In a third shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, panko, and ½ cup of the Parmigiano cheese.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Dredge each chicken breast in the seasoned flour, then dip into the beaten eggs, and finally into the bread crumb mixture. Set aside on the same large plate.

Cook chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden brown.

Spread enough of the Marinara Sauce to coat the bottom of a baking dish.
Arrange the browned chicken on top of the tomato sauce.
Spoon more tomato sauce over chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and top with the remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano.

Bake in oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese melts and sauce is bubbling.

Serves 2 to 4


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