I was excited to find out this month's Crazy Cooking Challenge was Fried Chicken! You know being a Southern girl, I love me some fried chicken! Mmmmm hmmmm! I had a few ideas of which recipe to make, but hadn't really settled on any one in particular. Did I want to make a traditional flour breading, a spicy breading ... breadcrumbs, panko ... cornmeal - maybe some kind of wings?! Too many choices! When Tina emailed us to let us know we pretty much had free reign with this challenge - I was even more excited! I scrapped all the other recipe ideas and decided to make my Italian Chicken with Peperonata & Noodles! You can thank me later! Seriously - this stuff is impressive, but easy! Don't be intimidated with the idea of making your own sauce ... time is the key ingredient - but it is so simple to make (and even better to eat)! ;)
Italian Chicken with Peperonata & Noodles
Yield: 4 servings
For the Peperonata & Noodles:
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, undrained
salt & pepper to taste
Fresh basil, chopped - handful
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped - handful
1 lb. thin spaghetti noodles
*Please note, this is not a "quick" recipe ... good sauces take time, but it is worth the effort!
In a large saucepan, heat a few swirls of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chopped red bell pepper, tomatoes and salt & pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the peppers are soft. Break up the tomatoes as they cook. Add chicken broth as necessary. Just before serving, cook pasta according to package directions. Add the basil and Italian parsley to the peperonata - check for seasoning and adjust, if necessary.
For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp. water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil, for frying
In a pie pan, combine the egg and 2 tbsp. of water. In a separate pie plate, combine the panko, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt & pepper. Cover chicken pieces with plastic wrap and pound out until thin - about 1/4-in" thick. In a large deep skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Dip a chicken piece in the egg mixture, coating both sides well - then into the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides well. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. Add chicken to the pan - do not overcrowd and fry in batches if necessary. Flip once - frying until golden brown on both sides - about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Drain well.
Serve hot with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Crusty bread would be a great accompaniment to this dish!
I hope you enjoy!
P.S. If you can't get enough of the fried chicken theme, please check out some of the other participants! I know they would love to share their recipes with you as well! :)