Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Chicken Parmigiana

I started this adventure of the FNCCC fully intending to choose recipes and follow them exactly (or as closely as possible due to ingredient availability) so that I could decide if the recipe as written was good or if it was a stinker. I've managed to do this so far, but this week I ran into a wall. I don't know WHO is proofreading these recipes before they go up on the website but I have some serious doubts about ingredient amounts on this one. There was also an ingredient that I didn't recognize, so I Googled it. The only hits Google had were pages of this same exact recipe which didn't exactly give me confidence since there were no other mentions of it anywhere. I don't think it really exists. That said, I made some adjustments to this one.

Most of the Bobby Flay recipes were grilling recipes. I didn't want to do a grilling recipe... so I chose one of the few that wasn't! My thoughts are in parenthesis and italics.

Picture 2970-1

Chicken Parmigiana
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper (You do NOT need two cups of flour to dredge chicken breasts in... I used a half a cup for two breasts and probably still could've done two more)
4 large eggs, beaten with 2 tablespoons water and seasoned with salt and pepper (Four eggs?! Serious overkill. One large egg should be enough)
2 cups panko bread crumbs (1 cup is plenty)
1 cup vegetable oil or pure olive oil (You aren't deep frying the chicken, so I have no idea why this calls for so much oil. A couple tablespoons in the bottom of the pan is more than enough)
Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (This is actually just about right, fresh mozzarella is heavy!!)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh basil or parsley leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each breast in the flour and tap off excess, then dip in the egg and let excess drip off, then dredge on both sides in the bread crumbs.

Divide the oil between 2 large saute pans and heat over high heat until almost smoking (Honestly, I think dirtying up two pans for this step is silly, if your meat doesn't all fit just do it in two batches). Add 2 chicken breasts to each pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side (I pounded the chicken REALLY thin, and my oil was hot, so 2 minutes per side would've resulted in very burned breaded chicken- 30-45 seconds per side was better). Transfer to a baking sheet.

Picture 2965

Top each breast with some tomato sauce, a few slices of the mozzarella, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes (7 minutes was just right for mine). Remove from the oven and garnish with basil or parsley leaves.

Tomato Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped (The all knowing interwebs inform me that a "Spanish" onion is a regular old yellow onion)
4 cloves garlic, smashed with some kosher salt to make a paste
2 (28-ounce) cans plum tomatoes and their juices, pureed in a blender
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 small bunch Italian parsley (I have no idea how much a "small bunch" is, so I used a handful which isn't really any more of an accurate measurement than "small bunch" is, sorry!)
1 Cubano chile pepper, chopped (This doesn't exist... I figured out that they probably meant a "Cuban pepper" which eventually led me to a cubanelle pepper. I couldn't seem to find one of those either, so I substituted a yellow bell pepper which is supposedly somewhat similar.)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add pureed tomatoes with their juices, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 cup water (I wouldn't add this next time), bay leaf, parsley, Cubano pepper, and bring to a boil. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes (I let mine simmer for an hour or so because I like a thicker sauce).

The Verdict: The chicken was SO amazingly tender, but we both thought that it should've been seasoned a bit more. I'm thinking seasoning the chicken beforehand, or seasoning the breadcrumbs would both work. I thought the sauce recipe as written was a little bit runny, so I'd leave out the water next time but the flavor was nice. The recipe makes A LOT of sauce. Way more than you'd need for your chicken, so keep that in mind and plan it into your leftovers for the week!


Kristen said...

A Cubano *sounds* reasonable -- like if some gardener crossed a Cubanelle and a Poblano, what would you get?! A Cubano! But I think you are right, I've never heard of that either. What is funny, when you google it, you get PAGES and PAGES of people that have posted and reposted his tomato sauce recipe. Apparently you are the first person to actually try and make it before posting to discover this pepper problem! :)

Thanks for the review. Chicken Parmigiana seems like its so far out of his comfort zone, I doubt I ever would have picked it, but it sounds like it was (mostly) a success!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious, sorry about some of the recipe errors, but from you advice I so want to make this, Yum!

Susie said...

Huh. It sounds like it was yummy but needed a lot of tweaking.

Sonya said...

The measurments sound way off but good for you for spotting it and making the adjustments. It looks wonderful though and if it weren't for mine and Edwins total hatred for red sauce I would make

Amy said...

That almost makes me want to start eating meat again. It looks so delicious! Dicphering recipes is not fun. I am making my grandmother's rolls today and had to make some serious changes as whoever wrote it down really messed up. But they are soooo good! I don't know if you know about my recipe blog, but come over and try the rolls. They don't disappoint. I promise. and they would go great with your chicken parmigiana!

Lora said...

Um...yummy! Adding it to my list!

SnoWhite said...

that looks so tasty!! :) I usually make it in the crockpot, but the crispy chicken looks so inviting.

I've found that these recipes go overkill on so many ingredients -- too much! Thanks for your notes about how you cut it down.

Ticia said...

ooohhhhh, I always like soups and stews.

Gina said...

Oh this looks good!

Sarah said...

The chicken looks amazing! You have been finding a lot of mismeasurements on these recipes....I guess we know that FN isn't big with proofing their recipes before they go to the site! Italian seasoning or lots of garlic would have been good to season the chicken. Thanks for cooking with the FNCCC! The Deen family has some goood loking recipes out there for next week...

Sarah said...

So I am trying to use the "Ask Bobby" form on his website to see if he knows that the Cubano pepper doesn't exist and it won't let me send the form.....

Anonymous said...

@Sarah...did you try switching from Firefox to IE (or visa versa)? I'm a Firefoxer who has to use IE to comment on Mub's blog and use a few other sites too...

Gawd, screwed up recipes are annoying. What I hate most is getting everything ready according to the list of ingredients, only to find some "surprise" ingredient has to be added at the end! (Or alternately, an ingredient you've prepped isn't even mentioned in the instructions!) Indian recipes are really bad for this, as they use so many different spices.

This one sounds awesome though...and, with your tweaks, I may try on the Dutchie who'd put red sauce on his muesli if I let him! ;-D

Tijn said...

Canucky Woman: Don't knock it; i've been having the leftlover sauce on toast until Mub hid it in a safe place.. It was rather good, really.

Meal Planning with Connie said...

This looks and sounds yummy!! Thanks for sharing!

Many blessings!

4 Lettre Words said...

Wow...It's like I can smell it!! That crispy coating looks so yummy.

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