Thursday, January 28, 2010

His Birthday: Pollo Parmigiana (Breaded Chicken Breast with Parmesan)

I would like to wish my amazing husband a very happy birthday! We both have long work days ahead of us, and he has class in the evening, but we’re going to steal a quick hour in between for an elegant dinner together.

Chicken Parmesan is one of his favorite foods. He’ll order it out, and I’ll make it occasionally. I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years, and while I don't make Chicken Parmesan frequently, I try to make it each year around his birthday. Last week I tried one from my new Main Street Ventures cookbook. My husband loved it, and it may have been one of his favorites.

I have the recipe listed below as it is in the book, however I’d like to point out that the recipe for the tomato basil sauce makes much more than you need. If you’re not looking for leftover sauce, I’d cut what is listed below into a third. (Or, you can always freeze the remaining sauce in two-cup portions.)

Happy Birthday, Old Man Sweetheart!

Pollo Parmigiana (Breaded Chicken Breast with Parmesan)
(From Mainstreet Ventures Distinctive Recipes)
1 egg
¼ cup milk
¼ cup flour
3 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 Tbs. garlic, minced
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped
4 (5 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast
Coarse salt and ground black pepper

Cooking and assembling the chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups Tomato Basil Sauce (see recipe below)
½ lb. Spaghetti, cooked al dente
4 slices mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese, grated
4 fresh basil leaves, as garnish

Heat oven to 400°F.

In a large mixing bowl combine the bread crumbs, garlic, Parmesan, basil, oregano, and parsley, and mix well. Set aside. In a separate bowl beat the egg with the milk. Set aside. In another bowl add the flour and set aside. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Dust the chicken breast lightly in flour, then dip in egg wash. Coat the chicken breast on both sides with breading and press lightly with hand to adhere. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté on each side for approximately 3 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove the chicken from the heat and place on a baking sheet. Top with mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and chicken is cooked.

In a large sauce pan, heat the Tomato Basil Sauce along with spaghetti. Transfer the spaghetti with tongs to individual plates and top each with a chicken breast.

Sugo di Pomodore (Tomato Basil Sauce)
(Makes 2 Quarts)
3 (24 oz.) cans chopped tomatoes (recipe recommends Hunts)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 medium size garlic cloves
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed, coarsely chopped
1 ½ Tbs. coarse salt
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. honey or pinch of sugar (optional)

In a food processor or blender, puree the olive oil and garlic. Pour mixture into a medium size sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in honey and fresh basil. Makes about 10 cups.

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday, Mr. Kate!! I can't think of a better chef to prepare your meal. :)