So many wonderful recipes, so much oil, so much fat, so much flavor!
I was going to submit something different for this week's Tyler Florence Fridays, something involving my deep fryer, but felt we needed a break from it.
Just a short one.
Instead, lets go back to a classic dish which I made for dinner one night, allowing my boys to have their pasta, and me to have something other than pasta. Chicken Parmesan. With pasta. (So I guess I didn't really get a break from the pasta.)
I'd read someone else's post about this recipe, from Tyler's Stirring the Pot, and kept in mind the recommendation of keeping the extra liquid nearby, just in case. Since I routinely double sauces for my family, I knew that extra sauce would not be an issue. Especially not a tomato sauce for pasta.
I have to say, though, that I found this boring. It was missing something. The chicken was fine (I used the griddle attachment to my stove to cook the chicken, essentially giving me an extra large pan to work with.) The sauce was boring. Everyone ate it, no one disliked it, but something was missing. (Yes, I did skip out on the olives, which would have reduced the salt in the recipe, but added a touch more to compensate.)
So here you go, healthy and different. Not a deep fryer in sight.
by Tyler Florence, recipe found on Food Network
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
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 (I can't remember if I used bococcini or mozzarella for this - but do know I did not use buffalo mozzarella as it is pricey and hard to find.)
Freshly grated Parmesan
1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente
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.
Ladle the tomato 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.