Chicken Corleone aka Chicken Parmigiana or Chicken Godfather

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photo 5 (43) photo 5 (44) photo 5 (45) photo 2 (57) photo 4 (50) photo 4 (51) photo 4 (52)Beautiful Sunday in New York and in need of some real deal Italian Food. Sure I can call in to any number of qualified Italian restaurants but I like to cook especially on Sunday nights. We were watching Godfather 2 and it was all the inspiration I needed. A friend of mine saw my post on FB and suggested I call it Chicken Corleone and I totally agreed , so it shall be re-named Chicken Corleone. It’s our favorite movie and probably one of our favorite foods. I made a quick red sauce ( in 1/2 hour) and cooked the chicken the old-fashioned way with flour, egg and bread crumbs. No shortcuts here and it is so worth the effort. I haven’t made it in a while and it was just delicious. It’s coming back into the rotation in our house for sure. It’s really not a lot of ingredients and probably whole recipe took about an hour to prepare. I made with fettucine because it’s what I had in the house , I actually prefer thin spaghetti with this but didn’t have this time. You don’t really need the pasta but what’s chicken parm without the pasta? So enjoy this delicious recipe for my now re-named Chicken Parmigiana or Chicken Godfather or its new name Chicken Corleone.

Ingredients:

4 chicken cutlets– I like my cutlets thin. I buy the thin ones. You can also pound your chicken cutlets with a meat pounder (mallet) or a rolling-pin will work.

1/4 – 1/2 cup flour ( you can use whole wheat flour if you like)

2 large eggs

3/4 cup dried bread crumbs ( I used Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs) or Panko – if you use flavored crumbs be careful of additional salt.

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. kosher salt ( not too much because I used flavored bread crumbs, more if you don’t)

a few grinds of the pepper mill

3 tbsp. olive oil

Marinara Sauce –see recipe below

grated Parmesan–to taste , I like a lot (for this recipe I use app. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan)

shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese–to taste but I like to cover my chicken completely with cheese ( see pic) just saying……. you use as much or as little as you personally like

I set up 3 dinner  plates and 1 bowl. I place the flour on one plate, in the bowl I place the beaten eggs. On the second plate, I combine the bread crumbs, some grated parmesan cheese,  salt and pepper to taste. Keep a clean plate nearby to place breaded cutlets on.

Dip each cutlet first in the flour, then in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drop off before dipping in the bread crumb mixture, you may have to press it a little to adhere better. Place the cutlets on a clean plate. Now what I do when I have extra time is I put the plate in the fridge till I’m ready to fry. Sometimes for a few hours, depending on my timing.  It helps the bread crumbs to stick better. Now this is just my theory but I really believe it works. When I’m ready to fry I remove my fridge and let sit out a little to bring to room temp. and fry away.

To fry: place a large skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Measure out 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. I use tongs and add 2 cutlets and cook for about 4 minutes per side. Check them by just turning the edge after a few mins. to make sure they are golden brown. Usually 4 minutes per side is enough depending on size of cutlets. (If you need more oil while frying extra cutlets add a little .)

I spray a baking dish with cooking spray and ladle out one large ladle of sauce and thinly spread around the bottom  of baking dish. I place the crisp chicken in the baking dish on top of the little bit of sauce. Cover with marinara (recipe below) top with parmesan and mozzarella . Bake for app. 15 – 20 minutes in a 350 degree pre-heated oven. Serve immediately with spaghetti or vegetable or both!

Quickie Marinara Sauce:

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt to taste

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper to taste

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan on the stove turn the heat to medium. Measure and put in the olive oil and heat to simmer , about 2 minutes. Place the chopped garlic into the pot being careful never to burn your garlic, sometimes to prevent it from burning I will remove hot pot from heat for a minute and add my garlic just till it softens down. You’ll want the garlic golden brown.

Remove the pan from heat again and add the tomatoes. Then stir in the seasoning. Tasting for salt , pepper and crushed red pepper. If you don’t like the crushed red pepper you can omit. We love it!

Return the pot to the heat and bring to a boil, once it boils lower the heat to medium-low and simmer . Stir often and taste for seasonings. If sauce becomes too thick add water up to 1/2 cup till it is desired consistency. Allow to cook for at least an hour, I try to cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Enjoy! I like to  make extra sauce to freeze, so I will sometimes double this recipe.

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