Monday, December 14, 2009

Pollo di Parmigiana - Parmesan Chicken

I do not know how Italian this dish is, though it certainly has Italian influences. It is one of our most favorite quick and easy to prepare chicken entrees. It is delicious enough to serve to guests, which we have done as well.

Parmesan Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Unsalted butter
Good olive oil

Pound the chicken between sheets of wax paper with a mallet or rolling pin until they are 1/4-inch thick.Combine the flour and salt and pepper on a dinner plate. On a second plate, beat the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. On a third plate, combine the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture and dredge both sides in the bread crumb mixture, pressing lightly.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan and cook 2 to 3 chicken breasts on medium to medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts.

Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top if desired.

Note You can keep the chicken breasts warm for about 15 minutes on a sheet pan in a 200-degree oven.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

In America and Italy, a panettone is a traditional hostess gift during the holidays. This is a delicious way to use leftovers. All the flavorings are already int he bread, so this recipe is simplicity itself.

For the bread pudding lightly butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish. Cut 1 pound or a little more Panettone into 1-inch cubes. Place them in the bottom of the baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk 8 large eggs,1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 2 1/2 cups whole milk and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Pour the custard over the bread cubes and press the bread gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake the pudding until it puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon the bread pudding into bowls and drizzle with the warm sauce.

You can make a head a refridgerate. Cut and reheat individual slices topped with sauce in the microwave.

To make the sauce bring 1/2 heavy cream, 1/2 cup whole milk, and 3 tablespoons sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup Amaretto and 2 teaspoons cornstarch to blend, then whisk it into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Keep warm or refrigerate up to 3 days.