Cooking with Dan Recipe 2: Chicken Parmigiana
People always say they prefer homemade versions of things because they taste better than the store bought. I thought they were food snobs full of poo until I tried this marina sauce recipe. Ohmagosh. It’s amazing. This Chicken Parmesana is the 2nd from the cooking with Dan session.
I can easily see this becoming our go to when guests come to town or for a casual Sunday dinner. The best part about this recipe is that the yummy homemade marina sauce that can be turned into just about anything—instead of having it cook down for 3 hours, give it a half hour and throw in some scallops or shrimp. Throw it on top of pasta if you like. As a real cook does, Dan knew tons ways to use the base of the sauce to switch it up to make a completely different meal. You can even add a little Sambal Chili Paste early on with tortilla strips for a Mexican twist on the standard recipe.
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- Bay Leaves
- 1/4 tsp Thyme
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- Crushed pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
- Put pot on stove over medium heat to let it warm. Add olive oil and let it texturize. Next add the onions and "sweat them" (til clear, not brown) about 5 minutes. Add a touch of salt and pepper. Then add garlic after the onions sweat so they don't burn. Add oil as it cooks down.
- Add both cans of toms to the pot. Jam your thumb into each tomato to juice it and tear apart. Add a bit of pepper and 2-3 fingers of kosher salt (easily accessible in your cute little wooden salt box
- . Add sugar and bay leaves (whole). Add a pinch of thyme and crush it with your fingers as you add it. Add fresh oregano (Tip: remove it from the stem and roll to chop it easily). If you're using dry oregano, use about 1/3 since it is more intense. Add crushed pepper for spice.
- Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 - 3 hours (or all day if you have the time). Add 1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste for richness. Crush tomatoes as needed while it cooks for desired consistency.
- For a lighter sauce to use with shrimp, mussels, or scallops, cook for a 1/2 hour and add the seafood for 2-3 minutes to cook them directly in the sauce.
- 6 hormone-free chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil, sliced
- First prep the chicken by cutting off any fat and pounding it out with a medieval-esque torture device/meat pounder using the non-tenderized side. This step is especially great for stress relief just don't completely shred the poor dead bird. If you have larger chicken breasts, slice through horizontally to create separate pieces - the chicken shouldn't be thick.
- Cover each piece of chicken in egg then flour then breadcrumbs. Cook thoroughly.
- In skillet, top chicken with marinara sauce (see recipe above), add slices of mozzarella and basil. Pop in the oven at 400° for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
- Serve on top of linguine or with a salad.
- For a tasty garlic bread, slide the loaf in half and cover with olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes or so. Once the top is ready, remove the bread and scrape fresh garlic along the top.