Chicken Parmesan

It is always amazing/flattering/funny when someone I don’t know that well tells me they read my blog. I expect my friends and family to follow my every move religiously (or else), but if I don’t know you that well and you are excited about what I’m doing here, you get major points in my book. There are bonus points if you are a complete stranger.

Last week while I was standing frustrated at the communal printer, Jodie, a coworker I have always thought highly of walked by and started asking me about NFT. She was asking me if I ever post the recipes (I know I’m not always the best about this) because she would really like to try some of them. Not only did she skyrocket in coolness in my head and my heart, but she reminded me that the recipes are a major part of what I’m doing here. So, just for you Jodie, I’m going to try extra hard to post all the recipes. Down to every last vinaigrette and cocktail.

She also mentioned that her and her boyfriend had just got a new house and that the first meal the she made in it would have to be chicken parmesan. Well, ask and you shall received. I picked this recipe out of the 13,315,193 that there were floating out in internet land because it struck me as pretty classic and pretty speedy!

Congrats Jodie! Enjoy the new house and the new recipe.

Love and Beer Floats

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 sauté 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 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. Place the chicken in a large oven pan. 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 with your favorite pasta.