Dine on a Dime [Week of 10/9/2011]

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Real Chicken Parmesan with simple red wine

 

Well, actually, the original dish may not even be named after cheese, nor did it contain chicken. But, I digress. Like many cultural adaptations, the classic chicken parm has been Americanized. Growing up, I was always baffled as to why my grandma’s chicken parm and the one at the local Italian joint differed so much. My grandma’s, the real chicken parm and the one you’ll find in any Italian household, is a pan fried chicken cutlet, which is then baked in the oven in a chunky tomato sauce for hours until it gets so tender, it breaks with a fork. The dish is served with shavings of, get this, Parmesan cheese and a side of vegetables/beans. The American adaptation seems to lend itself to heaping mounds of pasta and mozzarella cheese. Well, no more! Below, find the recipe to indulge in a true taste of Italian food.

 

Ingredients:

 

4 naturally raised, boneless – skinless chicken breasts

Flour

2 eggs

Fresh breadcrumbs

Corn oil for frying

1 carton of Pomi brand chopped tomatoes

1 medium yellow onion diced

1/2 carrot minced

4 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup chicken stock

2 tbs. chopped basil

2 tbs. chopped oregano

2 tbs. chopped flat leaf parsley

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Parmigiano-reggiano cheese aged at least 36 months

 

Directions:

 

Take your chicken breasts, and cut them in half horizontally. Cover with plastic wrap and, with a flat side of a meat tenderizer, pound out the chicken until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then, liberally salt and pepper your chicken. The next step is to toss them in flour, dip them in egg, and then toss in breadcrumbs. In a deep skillet, heat up about one inch of corn oil. You’ll know it’s ready for frying when the oil glistens, and when you flick water in the pan, it crackles. Then, fry the cutlets on each side until a crisp golden brown. Place in a glass-baking dish. In the meantime, sauté your onion, carrot, and garlic with salt and pepper for about ten minutes. Add the remaining ingredients; stir and pour on top of chicken.  Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Shave on some cheese and serve with your favorite side dish.

 

Difficulty: Hard

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cost: $10

 

I love a $10 bottle of wine that gets complimented every time I take it to a party or B.Y.O.B. I especially love a $10 wine that tastes great. I was drawn to Corvo Red after sharing a bottle over a holiday meal. After that, the name and the flavor just stuck. The best attribute of Corvo products is that they only produce two wines: Rosso (red) and Bianco (white). There’s no getting lost in which variety to buy and which has the best flavor. This is great for people who love wine, but really don’t know much about it, or have a palate for tasting all the nuances. The flavor is simple, dry, and velvety. Why does it pair great with my chicken parmesan recipe? Well, because it’s tasty and the flavor isn’t overbearing. The complexity of the chicken recipe won’t hold up to a bold flavored wine; it’ll end up leaving a sour taste in your mouth. But, something basic, like this Corvo red, will wash down your meal perfectly. The wine has a great reputation and has become a house red in thousands of restaurants around the world. So, it is definitely a smooth, acceptable wine to bring out in front of guests, or during date night at home.  Goda di (enjoy).

 

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