Do you ever have those nights when everything you had planned for dinner goes wrong and you wind up going out to eat? Well, I was having one of those nights. One of the major ingredients I was going to use for a dish went bad so it sent me scrambling. I had some leftover italian sausage links in the fridge, and I had french bread just aching to be garlic'd up and toasted. Love me some garlic toast!
The original dish called for chicken, so I thought I would make chicken parmesan, and do a whole italian dinner plate thing.
If you've never made your own marinara, you really should try. It can be made in half hour and is perfect as the topper for your chicken. Let me show you how.
Dice a little onion, chop some parsley, and mince some garlic.
Dice up some roma (or plum) tomato. Make sure you remove all the gooey seeds first.
You're going to need a can of tomato sauce and tomato paste.
Heat some olive oil in a skillet. Saute up the onion, garlic, and tomato for a minute.
Very blurry picture, but pour in a little white wine to keep the onion and garlic from burning.
Add the whole can of tomato sauce, and only half the can of tomato paste. If you buy the small small can of paste, you can put the whole thing in.
Add your parsley, salt, pepper, a dash of sugar, and some crushed fennel seed (just crush them in your hand as you put them in the pan).
Lower the heat to simmer and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.
Take your chicken breasts and put them on cornstarch dusted saran wrap. Put a little cornstarch on top of the chicken, then put another length of saran on top. Pound with a mallet or heavy skillet until the breasts are slightly flattened.
In one dish, put an egg and whisk with a fork. In another, put some herbed breadcrumbs. Now if you actually plan ahead of time, leave some bread out to dry overnight and use the cheese grater to crumb the bread (or use a food processor). Fresh crumbs are so much better than the boxed kind you get at the store.
Dredge each chicken breast in the egg.
Then put into the breadcrumbs to coat completely.
Voila. Coated chicken breasts.
Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and sear both sides of the chicken about 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Pull from the pan and put in a baking dish. Top with the marinara and some grated mozzarella cheese. Pop in a 350* for 20 minutes.