Monday, June 16, 2008
My friend Jo just returned from a trip to Italy and she brought me the most colorful souvenir I have ever received! This isn't your run of the mill souvenir like a t-shirt, pencil or a key chain. She brought me back an apron from Florence. Now I understand that this might not seem so unusual. An apron seems like a fitting gift for a food blogger. But this isn't your typical apron - it has a life size image of the David from the neck down on the front of it. For anyone that is having trouble creating a mental image, feel free to Google images of The David to help you out. It is hysterical! However it is not G rated enough for me to photograph myself wearing it for my blog that is frequented by my father and several sets of our grandparents.
I wanted to show my appreciation for my very funny souvenir from Jo so I decided to cook a traditional Italian dish donning my non-traditional souvenir that boast a full frontal of the most recognizable stone sculpture in the history of art.
Recipe Courtesy of Cathy Lowe
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup flour, on a shallow plate
2 eggs, lightly beaten, in a pie plate
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups prepared tomato sauce
1 ball of fresh mozzarella thinly sliced
Place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound out to 1/2" thickness using a mallet or rolling pin. Combine bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan, oregano, basil and cayenne in a pie plate. Coat each breast in the flour, shaking off any excess flour. Dip each breast in the egg and then into the bread crumb mixture. Set coated chicken aside on a plate.
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Carefully add chicken to pan, cooking three pieces at a time. Cook until golden on both sides.
Spread one cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and top with golden chicken breasts. Top each breast with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with layers of mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven
for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with whole wheat spaghetti and tomato sauce
I once heard Giada say on Everyday Italian that Chicken Parmesan is not something Italians in Italy would eat. She said they eat Eggplant Parmesan but Chicken Parmesan was really an Italian American dish. I am going to take her word for it, but I still consider Chicken Parmesan very Italian and I think it fit the bill for my homage to Italy. Thanks again Jo!