Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5-18-2011 A Taste of Italy

What a great night! We had my parents and brother Drew over for dinner. I made an Italian dinner because I knew everyone would enjoy it. Especially Drew, he is an Italian food fanatic.  He spent a semester of college in Italy eating tons of awesome Italian food.

When I was in high school I worked at 5 different Pizza/Italian restaurants. (I know that's sounds like a lot, they all were owned by the same family, I just moved around). I was a waitress, but I absolutely loved to be in the kitchen watching the cooks make all of the different dishes (suprising, huh?).  I've got great memories of speaking Spanish, listening to Spanish music, and dancing in the kitchen, what fun times those were.

One dish I remember watching the cooks make was Chicken Francese. Tonight was the first time I have ever attempted to make it myself, and it was amazing. Thank you Tyler Florence for the recipe.

I also made Brushetta Salad (see this unbelievable recipe below), Steamed Broccoli, and Spaghetti Marinara. This is the best dinner I have made in a looooonnnggg time!

Chicken Francese
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
All-purpose flour, for dredging
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine, I used a Chardonnay 
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons unsalted margarine
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, or basil

Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet.

Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.

When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, and lemon juice, simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the margarine in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour.

 Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan, place a lid on the skillet and simmer the chicken in the sauce until the chicken is cooked through about 10 minutes, taste the sauce to check for seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste.

 Remove the chicken from the skillet to serving dish. Place the lemon slices on top of the cutlets, spoon some sauce over, and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Brushetta Salad

I created this recipe on a whim. I love brushetta, and I love salads. This is the combination of my 2 loves.

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and chopped
4 small Roma tomatoes, or 1-2 large hot house tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 C. fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/4 C. olive oil, I use organic extra virgin
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 recipe croutons, below

Place the chopped romaine in your salad bowl, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate until ready to use. In a small bowl combine the chopped tomatoes, basil, balsamic, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use, let sit for at least 30 minutes to let flavors mesh. When ready to serve pour the tomato mixture over the romaine, and toss, add the croutons, and toss again.

5 slices, day old bread, I used challah, great way to use up leftover challah
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the bread into cubes. Toss in a large bowl with all of the ingredient.

Place on a sheet pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Let croutons cool at room temp before using.


Buona Notte!

Pin It

1 comment:

  1. Chicken francese is one of my favorite meals. I'm allergic to tomatoes and addicted to Italian food, which sadly limite my options, but this dish makes up for a lot of that. The lemon rounds make it so pretty! I'll have to try that.