Tyler Florence Fridays: Step away from the deep fryer!

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.

Chicken Parmesan
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
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 (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.


Anonymous said...

While that sure looks delicious, I think the breading for the chicken is missing some seasoning. I always use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for chicken, otherwise its "blah". Not that I'm a chicken expert by any means!!

NKP said...

I am like you and like intense flavour - if I see in a recipe like this that it says 2 cloves of garlic - I assume they mean at leat 6!
It does look good, and feel free to punch up the recipes as you see fit - we are all about adapting to our own palate at TFF!

Peabody said...

Looks like a great dinner.

Michelle said...

I'm with Natashya and there's not enough garlic in this recipe. If you used the white garlic commonly sold in grocery stores, you should add at least 6 cloves.

I just discovered a garlic farm in WI and order fresh garlic last summer. OMG..what a difference in flavor. One clove and my entire house smells of wonderful garlic. I can't wait to order more this summer.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Sorry it wasn't as flavorful as you like. I have to join the crowd and say--pump up the garlic or sometimes I add a bit of red pepper flakes too for a little spice. It looks nice though!

Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to make this one. It looks delicious! I will have to add more garlic when I attempt it.

Joanne said...

I am with Natashya as well. If I'm peeling garlic and my hands are going to smell like it anyway, I am definitely using at least cloves. Also, I have this garlic chopper that is much better at chopping six rather than two. I also like to cut up red peppers and simmer them along with my sauce. Somehow the aura of the pepper gives it a flavor kick. I'm also with Megan on the seasoned breadcrumbs. With sauce recipes, adaptation is key!

karen said...

thanks for the tip on the sauce, when i make this i'm going to jazz it up a bit i think.

Every Day Gourmet said...

IT looks so good! Too bad it didn't have enough flavour for you. I made a roasted tomato sauce yesterday and had the same problem. I ended up adding some chili oil and roasted garlic and it gave it the "extra" that I found missing.