Sunday, April 14, 2013

prosciutto chicken parmesan {the sloppy chef series}

Well, it's April...otherwise known as the month of a thousand birthdays in my family.  I haven't done much "gour-met" cooking lately since I've been completely involved with house plans. (Excuse)  And I just haven't felt like cooking. (Truth)

But our youngest turns 21 this weekend and he's requested Chicken Parm for dinner.  This month is also my birthday, my Mom's birthday, my Dad's birthday, my niece's birthday, my late Gramma's birthday...you get the picture. 

This is one of my favorite dishes, so I thought as long as I was putting forth the effort to make it, I should share it as well.

We'll get started with the sauce, which is very similar to my pizze! sauce.  Why aren't they exactly the same?  I have no idea.  I guess because the pizza sauce is a bit thicker.  And I probably didn't realize I had 2 similar recipes.  I love them both.  And they're even better if you make them a day in advance.

Sauce (totally tweak as you see fit):

2 T Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
28 oz can Hunts crushed tomatoes 
2 (15 oz) cans Contadina extra thick and zesty tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 t. dried oregano
1 Bay leaf 
4-6 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes
1 oz chopped fresh basil (added about 30 minutes before the sauce is "done")

Saute onion in oil until translucent.  Add pressed garlic and saute about one minute (!!don't let it burn!!).  Dump in everything else (except fresh basil) and let it simmer all day.

Remove bay leaf and add your basil when you're about done simmering the sauce.

Now I'd like to introduce you to my lovely little buddy, Pietro.

He's my pasta maker.




And he'll put the Imperius Curse on you if you're not careful.

If I'm in a hurry (lazy), I use pasta from a box, because this really is very time-consuming.  But, since I wanted some decent post content this is a birthday dinner, I'm going to go ahead and make "real" pasta.  (I really do like boxed pasta just fine...I seriously only make fresh a couple times a year.)

Now, if you don't have your own Pietro, this part is probably moot, unless you can roll your dough uber-thin and then manually cut it into noodles.  If you can...I bow to you.  I am not that talented. 

The recipe that works the best for me goes like this (this makes a lot...but I'm feeding a herd tonight).

Pasta:

5 eggs
splash water
4 cups flour

Beat eggs, add splash water.  Put flour in bowl with a well in the middle.  Add egg mixture to well and gradually blend together with a fork.  Once it starts to glob together, get brave and stick your hand in there and mush it together till it forms a pretty ball.  Toss it in a clean bowl and cover with cellophane (I laugh every time my husband uses that word) so it doesn't dry out.


Then I get a wad like so:


And start running it through Pietro.


He has about 6 settings that keep getting thinner each time.  Basically I run the dough through the widest setting (and keep folding the dough into itself) about 4 times so the dough can get properly mushed together.


Then once I'm happy with the size/shape, I go to the thinner settings one-by-one, then finally run through the fettuccine attachment.   



Since I don't have pasta drying racks (but want some) I basically throw them all in a pan and mix them up with a bunch of flour so they don't mate with themselves or others.

No pasta procreation allowed here.  I want virgin noodles. 


Onto the chicken.  I usually buy my boneless/skinless breasts at Sam's Club.  And they are the biggest chicken breasts I have ever seen in my life.  I usually cut them in half.  Twice.  I like smaller, more manageable breasts.

So, for the rest of the dish you need the following:

The Chicken Stuff:

6-8 (4 oz) pieces of chicken breast
2 eggs beaten in a bowl

Combine in another bowl:
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. Italian breadcrumbs


More stuff:
1 cup chopped Prosciutto ham  


 3/4 lb fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin


Tootsie Rolls

 
These are to get you through this process.  It's a full-day's job. 

Finally: Cooking Oil (no photo available...the oil was feeling fat)

So, when you're ready to assemble everything, spray a 9x13 baking dish and add sauce to the bottom (about halfway up).

{You want your sauce to be at least warm when the pan goes into the oven or it will take longer to bake.} 
  • Heat oil in pan over medium (shimmering, not smoking...)
  • Beat chicken and dredge in eggs
  • Dredge chicken in beaten eggs
  • Dredge chicken in Parmesan cheese/breadcrumb mixture 
  • Fry in oil about 2-3 minutes per side
  • Remove and set pieces on sauce in baking dish (you can let rest them on a paper towel first and get rid of a bit of the grease)
  • Distribute Prosciutto evenly over all pieces
  • Distribute fresh Mozzarella evenly over all pieces
Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes.  Or until chicken no longer has the threat of salmonella and the cheese is browned.

***Now, as a special little treat, I also always make some Alfredo sauce to pour over the top.  I don't like Alfredo by itself, but I LOVE it over this dish.  Here's the recipe I use for the Alfredo Sauce from Allrecipes.  I pretty much follow it exactly.***

While your chicken is bubbling away in Dante's Inferno, it's time to boil the noodles:
  • Boil large pot of water with some salt (duh)
  • Dump in noodles (double duh) 
And how do I know when the noodles are done?  Well, I gently boil them for about 10 minutes I s'pose, but basically, I fling them against Philly's forehead and when they stick (and I get that face), I know they're ready. 



I missed a few "in progress" photos because by that time my box of wine was very much "in progress."

I even forgot to take a picture right out of the oven.  So, now, for your viewing pleasure:

"Plated Leftover Prosciutto Chicken Parm
Fresh From the Microwave." 





Enjoy, and just remember...after making this, your hands will smell like garlic and Tootsie Rolls for days.

-the sloppy chef 
  

10 comments:

  1. This looks great! I wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Liebster Award! http://www.nicole-southerncharm.com/2013/04/i-was-nominated-for-theliebster-award.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. This would suit my taste buds perfectly at this moment. I'm glad to see you make your own pasta. Now that I'm into it, the bought stuff just doesn't taste the same.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh, you are so funny! Poor Philly. But it takes a real man to wear noodles so gracefully. As for the meal, it sounds wonderful, but you lost me at all day. I really dislike cooking...sshhh...don't tell anyone. I'd definitely be buying the noodles and probably the sauce too. But I'll bet this is absolutely delcious!!

    Thank you for sharing it at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a lovely week!

    Hugs,
    Deborah

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks so yummy and I love the hilarious post! I am so impressed you make your own pasta. I've been wanting to do that! Thanks for the motivation. Thank you so much sharing at A Bouquet of Talent this week. Have a wonderful weekend.
    hugs
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your post made me laugh out loud at least 3 times, so I have now signed up to stalk...er...follow you! Don't have a blog myself, don't need one with all this talent out there! This recipe looks like a lot of work and I WANT to do it! thanks! Dona

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mmmmmm. If I were ambitious I would make this...but homemade pasta? WOW! Thanks for linking up over at the IC

    ReplyDelete
  7. So funny and I am gaining lbs just reading your posts! Pinning this one too :) I love homemade pasta..."real" pasta!!! Thanks for another yummy share at the IC link party!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ummmm could you make me this to go with that cake? Hate to just have dessert! Yummmmm! Thanks for linking it up and you know I'm pinning it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Drooling here!!!!! I'm starving now! Awesome recipe Andi xxx

    ReplyDelete

SAY SOMETHING! You know you want to.