Lavished with Rich Italian Style Tomato Sauce and
Dripping with Melted Mozzarella
The Gourmet Goddess visits The Chocolate Goddess to share one of the most delicious and comforting meals originating from Italy. Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Parmigiana, is an Italian style breaded chicken cutlet that is sautéed until golden brown, baked with tomato sauce and served dripping with melted mozzarella.
Let’s face it, we still all in need of warm comfort food, especially with the blizzards, ice storms, gale force winds and hurricanes taking place even though it is April. If we are not able to go outside and enjoy spring, we need something really delicious to look forward to at dinner. The Goddess of Springtime, Ostara is late this year, she must be stuck in celestial traffic somewhere between here and Mount Olympus.
Most people believe that Chicken Parmesan is a dish that originated in Italy. The fact is it that Chicken Parmesan originated in the United States in Italian-American neighborhoods. Eggplant Parmesan, known as Mellenzana Parmigiana in Italy, or Eggplant Parmesan here in the states, was undoubtedly the influence for Chicken Parmesan.
The inspirational Mellenzana Parmigiana was composed of ingredients that were readily available and easily grown in Italy. This dish was cleverly conceived because eggplant was abundant and inexpensive and it was used in many creative way during delicious Italian feasts. Parmesan or Parmigiana describes the cheese that was sprinkled on the eggplant. This popular cheese, which was, and still is, made in the Italian city of Parma. It is a piquant and distinctive cheese that connoisseurs worldwide adore. Tomatoes that grew plentifully in Italy became the sauce that garnished the eggplant and then were topped with more Parmesan. The melding of the flavors along with Italian herbs and spices makes the dish a masterpiece for gastronomy.
Here in America, chicken was plentiful and restaurateurs were always looking for new twists on old dishes. Chicken Parmesan was born with the novel addition of melted mozzarella in the 1950’s and it has been on the menu at restaurants or in homes ever since. The New York Times fancied it and in 1968 featured it as a premier recipe. It is served worldwide as a meal with pasta or potatoes and vegetables or on Italian Bread as a hearty warm sandwich.
Enjoy the recipes for both Tomato Sauce and Chicken Parmesan, compliments of The Gourmet Goddess
Always Stay in Touch with Your Inner Goddess!
Ingredients for Tomato Sauce
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
1 Large Sweet Onion (cut in wedges)
2 - 28 ounce cans Italian Tomatoes
2 - 6 ounce cans Tomato Puree
2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1 tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
Instructions for Tomato Sauce
Heat oil and add garlic and onion wedges on medium low heat and stir occasionally.
As onions begin to brown, remove from pot.
Break up tomatoes roughly in blender and add to pot or use immersion blender after tomatoes are in the pot.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Add salt and sugar and seasonings and mix well.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.
Chicken Parmesan Ingredients
4 Chicken Breasts (I prefer Perdue in individual plastic pouches)
1 cup Progresso Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 - 1 pound Bag Whole Milk Grated Mozzarella
Chicken Parmesan Instructions
Prepare pan with oil, but do not heat yet.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk eggs in flat bowl.
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, spices and salt in a baking dish.
Pound Perdue Chicken cutlets individually in a plastic bag to make them tender.
Remove chicken from bag and place on plate momentarily.
Heat oil on medium low heat in fry pan.
Dip each cutlet in egg on both sides and then in breadcrumbs.
Fry on each side about 4 minutes until golden brown.
Place tomato sauce on bottom of 13 x 9 roasting pan.
Place fried cutlets in pan.
Top with more sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella over cutlets and add a bit more tomato sauce.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese begins to turn just a bit golden brown.
Serve with pasta, salad and Italian bread or roasted potatoes, string beans and Italian bread.