050409-chicken_parm1Yield: serves 4

Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted

1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves

2 (28-ounce) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed

Pinch sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon water

2 cups dried bread crumbs

1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained, thinly sliced

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 pound spaghetti pasta, cooked al dente in salted boiling water

Coat a saute pan with 3 tablespoons of 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, 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.

Set chicken breasts on your chopping board and cover with plastic wrap.  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.  In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy and season with salt and pepper. 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-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, and parmesan. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve with hot spaghetti that has been tossed in more sauce.  Finish with a sprinkle of fresh, finely chopped basil.

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


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