Chicken Parmesan — Rustic

I have a problem:  The only way I can generate a smooth, enthralling post is when I write everything within the same day, but I never have a sufficient block of free time to accomplish that.  Thus, I can’t manage to keep the ball rolling with my writing, and things just get plain awkward.

For example, I had written a couple of paragraphs of this post weeks ago, and I’m pouting on my couch now because I can’t pick-up from where I left off.  My new jokes don’t flow (they’re just not funny), and the new paragraphs as a whole do not mesh well.  Franky, I’m stuck with writer’s block.

The solution?  Write this post describing my writer’s block!  Genius.  Now it looks as though I’m typing useful information about food, when I’m really just babbling about nothing.

As much as I would love to blame our pet rat Biggie for this mess, I’ll admit that it’s my fault that I don’t post within one day.  Why?  Because  whenever I sit down to write, I’ll get a text or call about meeting up with a friend, and I always choose friends over blogging — not okay.  I should put more pressure on myself to post recipes within the same week of making them (not the same millennium).

Below is my post from a couple weeks ago.  I don’t know if it’s any good, but frankly I had to write something about the chicken, and didn’t want to rack my brains to type something new.

Here it is:

Who’s ready for some Italian home cookin’?

Mee!!!

This rustic chicken parmesan is crazy good.  (I say “rustic,” because it turned out kind of abstract)  The sloppy appearance is most likely due to the four inexperienced chefs who pieced it together. Those “inexperienced chefs” being me and three of my friends: Sheridan, Kaitlyn, and Hanna.  Sheridan is my big, Kaitlyn is Sheridan’s twin (making her my… cousin?) and Hanna is my little; just to clarify the family tree order.  (FYI — these girls are not my real relatives, just part of my sorority family).  If they were my real relatives, that would be odd that I attend school with them.

Now back to the chicken:

The homemade sauce is definitely the kicker for this dish.  Surprisingly, it required only a few key ingredients (onions, tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt and pepper), which made it quick and easy — my favorite type of dish.  The chicken was super moist, and had a nice crust on the outside from the breadcrumbs.  Sheridan still raves about this chicken and requests that we make it again tonight.  Sadly, I told her I wanted to try something new so I could post it on my blog; too bad I’m a stickler for new recipes.

P.S.  We had so much left over, after doubling the recipe (I was expecting 20 people to waltz through my front door — only 5 showed.)  But I was able to freeze them and then reheat them at 450 for 20 to 30 minutes; conveniency at it’s best.

So here’s the recipe.  I’ll also post my father’s garlic bread recipe to go with it.  Enjoy!

Tyler Florence’s Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

13 x 9 baking dish

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

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

Directions

  1. Coat a saute pan with olive oil, and when oil is hazy, add the garlic, onions, and bay leaves.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until everything softens, and add some hand-torn basil.  Next, carefully add the tomatoes and stir, cooking until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce thickens.  After about 15 to 20 minutes, season with a little bit of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.
  2. Preheat oven to 450.  Cover the chicken with plastic wrap on a cutting board and pound them to 1/2 inch thick.  Mix the flour in a large plate with a bit of salt and pepper.  In a wide bowl, beat the eggs and water until frothy.  Put the bread crumbs in another large plate and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan at med-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, lightly dredge each chicken breast in seasoned flour, then egg mixture, and then bread crumbs.  Add the cutlets to the pan and fry for 4 minutes on each side until browned.
  3. Transfer the browned chicken into the baking dish and cover with the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle mozzarella, parmesan, and basil on top.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.  Serve hot with spaghetti and garlic bread.

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