Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tyler's Chicken Parmesan

This week we were craving the classics; a little pasta.. some chicken... lots of cheese.. you with me? We had Tyler Florence's Chicken Parmesan (with added red peppers) al fresco, because when you live in Canada you have to take advantage of the warm weather when you can. Especially before the bugs come out in full force.
This was a very tasty dish, I loved the kalamata olives in it. It reminded me of a puttanesca sauce and I thought that next time I might add some anchovies, capers, and hot peppers to the sauce. But that's just me, always looking for huge flavour.
This was a definite winner, with generous servings and lots left over for lunch the next day. Great with a bottle of Cab Franc. (But then again, what isn't?)


Chicken Parmesan
Tyler Florence, Stirring the Pot

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 medium onion, chopped (I used a little more)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I quadrupled this..)
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 (I used Panko)
(I added lots of large pieces of red pepper)
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente

Directions
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. (Here is where I added the red pepper)
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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