Monday, March 30, 2009

CHICKEN PARMESAN WITH ROASTED PEPPER TOMATO SAUCE


If you want an easy chicken parmesan recipe, just bread your chicken, fry it, and top it with jarred spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese. I've taken that easy road. But not this time.

First, I added Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley to seasoned breadcrumbs. Next, I dipped the chicken cutlets in a mixture of egg, white wine, salt and pepper before breading them. This treatment gives flavor to the chicken even before it's bathed in sauce.

And the sauce for this dish is what's really spectacular. Two whole roasted peppers are cut into long strips. Half of them are cooked with the sauce which is then pureed. The remainder are put on top of the sauce before the chicken is added to the pan and before it goes into the oven. There aren't many ingredients in this sauce, because the peppers are on center stage, and let me assure you they perform well. This is one of my favorite tomato sauces, and it is perfect with chicken parmesan. Take the long road next time you make chicken parmesan -- make this sauce. It won't disappoint you.

Chicken Parmesan with Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce
Source: Chicken Breading: Judy's Kitchen
Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce: Adapted from The Romagnolis' Table Cookbook
Rating: 10 out of 10
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INGREDIENTS:
Roasted Pepper Tomato Sauce:
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
1 hot red pepper pod, seeded (or 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper)
28-oz. can good-quality crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 tsp. sea salt (or more, if desired)
2 roasted red peppers, cut in long strips (jarred are ok)
1 can (14.5 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth

In large heavy pot, saute the onion and pepper pod in the oil over medium heat till transparent, about 5 minutes. Briefly add the garlic (and ground pepper if you didn't use the pepper pod) and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove the pepper pod if you used it. Pour in the tomatoes, add salt and half of the roasted peppers. Stir in as much of the broth as you need to get the sauce to desired consistency. (We like ours thin, so I added the whole can.) Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes; taste to adjust seasonings, adding more salt if needed. Puree the sauce, if desired. (My husband has to have smooth sauce, so I always puree.) Reserve remaining half of roasted peppers for roasting pan.

Breading: 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
2 Tbsp. white wine, drinking quality
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half, pounded to even thickness (4 cutlets total)

In a disposable plate or plastic bag, combine the parsley, cheese and bread crumbs; set aside. In a flat bowl, whisk egg with wine, salt and pepper till frothy. Dip cutlets, first in egg mixture, then in breadcrumb mixture. Lay on wax paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate.

Assembly:
1. Heat oven to 375F. Set out a 9x12 baking pan and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Start a big pot of salted water on high heat for the pasta.
3. When oven is ready, pour 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil into baking pan, and spread it evenly to coat bottom. Place chicken breasts in pan, bake for 15 minutes.
4. Turn chicken over. Bake additional 5 minutes. Place pasta in pot to cook; don't forget to stir.
5. Transfer chicken to paper towels. Wipe any excess oil from pan. Ladle hot tomato sauce into pan; top with remaining pepper strips. Place chicken on top. Spoon some sauce over chicken. Bake 10 minutes. Drain pasta; return to pot; keep warm.
6. Top chicken with cheese of choice. (I used Italian 5-cheese blend, shredded). Bake till cheese melts, about 4-5 minutes.
7. Mix some of the sauce with the pasta. Serve pasta with chicken; spoon extra sauce over top.

Yield: 4 servings

9 comments:

Donna-FFW said...

Sounds like an absolutely fantastic adaptation to the classic. I so LOVE roasted red peppers.. I will have to try this way next time.

Sara said...

This looks great, I haven't made chicken parm in ages. I think my husband would be quite happy if I made this!

Coleen's Recipes said...

This looks absolutely delicious!! I am definitely going to make this one. Thanks for posting.

Lynda said...

This looks delicious, Judy! It pays to make homemade,as it is always better.The sauce sounds amazing with the red pepper addition!

Jann said...

With a rating of 10, this has to be as delicious as it looks!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Red bell peppers... yummy! Gosh, this looks good.
Thanks for visiting my blog. You made me chuckle, how you sneak in secret things so hubby won't notice.
Sorry you don't like meatloaf...it's one of those things I make about once... maybe twice a year. Men love the stuff

Elyse said...

Oh, Judy, you know exactly what I like! I just ADORE the addition of roasted red peppers to a tomato sauce. I bet this made the chicken parm EXTRAVAGENT!! Mmm, I'm totally going to have to do this dish soon. By the way, how's the dry-aging going?

Judy said...

Elyse - The dry-aging was a huge success, and there will be several follow-up posts to update everyone. The next post is tomorrow, actually.

Debbie said...

If you rate this 10 out of 10 then I have to try this. I love peppers and all Italian foods....