Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Italian Smothered Chicken

Italian Smothered Chicken
Serves: 2-3 people
OBJ: TCW be able to combine two of her favorites- chicken parmesan and lasagna, into one main course dish

2 chicken breasts (cutlets), pounded thin
1 ½ C Italian style bread cups
2 eggs, beaten
½ C extra virgin olive oil, plus 3 TBS
1 can diced tomatoes
¼ C diced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sized shallot, diced
1 tsp dried parsley
¼ C dry red wine (I use Merlot but use what you booze)
1 C whole milk ricotta cheese
8-12 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips
½ C shredded mozzarella cheese
S & P, salt and pepper
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2.      In a large sauté pan or sauce pot, heat 3 TBS olive oil over medium flame
3.      Add onions, shallots, garlic, pinch S & P, and parsley, lower heat to medium-low and let vegetables cook and soften, about 5-8 minutes (until onions are pale)
4.      Add diced tomatoes with their juices, pour the red wine into the can from tomatoes to “clean out” the can and pour into sauce
5.      Add another pinch S & P, bring to boil, cover, turn heat to low and let simmer (covered) for about 15- twenty minutes
6.      After 20 minutes, turn flame off and stir in 3 – 4 fresh torn basil leaves
7.       Place ¾ of sauce in a medium-sized casserole baking dish or 8 X 8 pan, set aside
8.      Set up two shallow dishes, one with beaten eggs, one with bread crumbs
9.      In a large frying pan, heat ½ olive oil over medium-high heat ( oil should come up ¼ of pan, adjust accordingly if need be)
10.  Dredge chicken in egg, drip off excess, then coat with breadcrumbs, shake off excess
11.  When oil is hot and ready (either put a few breadcrumbs in it and they will fry up or the end of your wooden spoon will create bubbles when put in oil), put in chicken and leave to fry on one side for 4-5 minutes, turn over (make sure its light golden brown) and let other side fry for 4- 5 minutes
12.  Place lightly browned chicken in casserole dish or 8 X 8 pan on top of  the sauce
13.  Divide the remaining sauce on top of each chicken breast
14.  In a small bowl, mix ricotta with remaining basil, and a pinch S & P, divide ricotta mixture equally on top of each chicken breast, spread to cover most of chicken breast
15.  Cover each breast with mozzarella
16.  Sprinkle with parmesan
17.  Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil, then 5 minutes uncovered for the top to brown, use broiler at end if needed
18.  Serve with pasta tossed with olive oil, S & P and parmesan cheese or just some good Italian bread

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