Sunday, May 22, 2011

Italian Feast

Rosemary Garlic Bread
One of my favorite meals, and a family favorite of ours is Chicken Parmesan, with Marinara Sauce and Garlic Rosemary bread.  I originally learned the Marinara sauce from my friend Andrea, and her family who are all very talented cooks!  In fact, some of the best dishes I make are from them. Once I got the hang of there version of the sauce I tweaked it and made it my own.  The other recipes are a take off from some Chefs I have met through my course of life. I took what they taught me and made them my own.  Hope the instructions make since.  To be honest I have never written them down before, but I did this last time that I cooked them.  So i hope they work for all of you!
Fresh Garden Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

- 3 large cans of tomatoes
- 9-12 garlic cloves
- Olive Oil
- 1 t. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 sprig of Fresh Rosemary
- 1 handful of Fresh Basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste

In a sauce pan spread even olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan add red pepper flakes, turn the heat on and let it sit on medium heat as you chop up your onion and add it.  Let it saute till it starts to look transparent, using a wooden spoon to stir it.  Once your onion hits this stage add your chopped garlic to the pan and stir.  Let saute for a few minutes and add your tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We grow our own tomatoes and then can them so this sauce is always super fresh.  So IF you dont have that option, then go to the store and look for cans of tomatoes that have an Italian brand, there a little more pricey but they make all the difference, just make sure its just tomatoes.  If you want to go the distance, purchase about 20 roma tomatoes and let them boil until there skin cracks.  Let them cool in a strainer and then peel off the skin.  Loosely chop up and add to the pan after you do the first few steps.  I often do this step... but its time consuming!

After the sauce has simmered for at least 2-4 hours add fresh chopped basil and rosemary, stir into sauce and serve!  You can serve this sauce after it simmers for 20 minutes, but the longer you let it simmer the better it tastes.

After you eat this you will never be able to eat bottled marinara sauce again...

Crispy Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Parmesan


4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1 C. Fresh Parmesan Cheese grated
1/2 C. Italian Bread Crumbs
1/2 C. Panko Bread Crumbs
2-3 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 pinch of Ground Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 C. Canola Oil

In a frying pan add oil to medium high heat while you prep your chicken...

In 3 separate bowls,  add flour, salt, pepper, and red pepper to flour and stir in first bowl.  In the 2nd bowl beat eggs with a fork until mixed well.  In the 3rd bowl add Italian bread crumbs, Panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese, mix well and set aside.

Sometimes when i'm not feeling lazy I will put the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic and pound them out so there thinner, in which case I just fry them... but for the most part i just slice them into strips.

Take your first strip of chicken and dip in the flour mixture shaking it off.  Then dip into the egg next. 3rd roll around in the bread crumb mixture and press on the chicken making it stick well.  Set aside and continue these steps until all the chicken is done.

If you are doing the chicken strips pre heat oven to 350 degrees to let chicken finish off cooking.  To check to see if the oil is hot enough, take a little ball of the bread crumbs eggs mixture that you will have probably on your hands and drop it in your pan. If it floats and comes out golden brown your oil is ready.  If its not, then either heat it up more or turn down the heat.  I dont check temperatures, I just do everything that way.  But if you want to check temperatures then make sure its 325 degree F. Lightly fry both sides until they get golden brown.  Depending on how thick your chicken breast is is how long you will need to put them in the oven to finish off, so its always good to check.  But i usually put them all on a pan and let them cook while my noodles are boiling.

You can also add a fresh mozzarella cheese at this point and let it finish off in the oven.  Add fresh basil at the end if you want to garnish it, but we just like putting the sauce over it.  Sometimes, I like to add fresh rosemary to my bread crumbs, but note that im a HUGE fan of rosemary.

Rosemary Garlic Bread

1 Fresh loaf of french bread
1 Sprig of Rosemary chopped up finely
2-5 Cloves of garlic (depends on how much you like)
1 Cube of Butter

Preheat oven to Broil, and slice loaf of bread in half placing it on a sheet pan.

In a sauce pan add butter and let melt, add chopped up garlic and rosemary to pan and let the butter just get a hint of brown.  Then take it off the heat and spread it all over your bread.  Sometimes if I feel like it I add parmesan cheese on top as well. Broil until it gets golden brown, cut and serve!

1 comment:

  1. This is the family favorite! The boys request this as their birthday dinners. Invited company often ask if Rachel will be cooking this when they come. Always a hit!