Chicken Parmesan & The Most Famous Tomato Sauce on the Internet

WEDNESDAY

Chicken Parmesan & Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

SUPERLATIVES seem to be today’s theme.  But before we get to the {Internet} world’s Most Famous Tomato Sauce, take a look at…

most-expensive-dishes

According to Eater.com & published yesterday

Frankly, most of these do not tempt me in the least BUT, I wouldn’t mind #5 on the list

martinis-at-algonquin

$10,000 Martini at the Algonquin Hotel, NYC {a diamond is dropped into the cocktail}

Well, that was amusing, now back to reality…

Kristen Miglore, Senior Editor at FOOD52, writes about the popularity of this tomato sauce:

“Admittedly, this sauce won’t be news to a lot of you. Many of our favorite bloggers already had beautiful epiphanies about it years ago. In fact, we could even play a game: Where were you when Obama was elected? … When you heard Gourmet was folding? … When you first tried the sauce?” {Click here to see her full article}

It really is amazing that a recipe consisting of only three ingredients (yes…tomatoes, butter & an onion…that’s it!} could produce such perfection.  This sauce is wonderful on its own {as a topping for fresh pasta…stop by for dinner tomorrow because that is what we will be having} but it is the perfect sauce for layering {think lasagna} as in tonight’s chicken parmesan.  Basically, any recipe that calls for tomato sauce cries out for this sauce.  The recipe below is my adaptation for making a double{+} batch of the original.

The World’s Most Famous Tomato Sauce

  • 1 {28 ounces} can whole tomatoes {I prefer San Marzano }
  • 1 {28 ounces} can diced tomatoes {Ditto}
  • 1 {18 ounces} jar organic tomato purée {I like Middle Earth Organics “Passata Rustica”, chunky country-style purée}
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1½ onions, peeled and halved
  • Kosher salt to taste
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Stir occasionally, breaking up the whole tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Discard the onion before serving or using the sauce in other recipes.

Tomato Sauce Ingredients

Tomatoes Whole & Butter

Tomatoes Puree & Butter

Tomatoes Butter Onion

After removing the onion from the sauce, I blended the mixture until smooth with my hand-held immersion blender {if you don’t already have one, check out “Some of My Favorite Things” in the right side-bar of this post & you can have one of your own with just one click}…

Tomato Sauce Finished

[ FYI…any left-over sauce {or any left-overs for that matter} needs to be used within three or four days from preparation as to avoid a problem with food poisoning.  Click here to view the Mayo Clinic’s guidelines on safely keeping left-overs. ]

Now that you have the sauce, prepare the chicken.  This recipe is my adaptation of Mario Batali’s chicken parmesan from his New York pizzeria, Otto.  According to the folks at Bon Appétit, it is an Otto staff favorite but it doesn’t appear on the menu.  Rather, it is part of family-meal ~ the dinner the staff prepares & eats before the dinner guests arrive.

Chicken Parmesan

  • 3-4 cups homemade breadcrumbs {from 3-4 french sandwich rolls, ground in a food processor}
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 {+} tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups of The World’s Most Famous Tomato Sauce, divided
  • 3 cups coarsely-grated, well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Spread breadcrumbs out, evenly on a jelly roll pan and toast in the oven for 30 minutes {stirring the breadcrumbs after 15 minutes} or until golden brown.
  2. Place chicken breast halves between sheets of plastic wrap.  Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to 1/3-inch thickness.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt & pepper.
  3. Place flour in a large dish.  Whisk eggs to blend in a separate large dish.  Place breadcrumbs in yet another large dish.  coat each chicken breast with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron {or non-stick} skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until browned {about 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed…chicken will NOT be cooked through at this point}.  Transfer chicken breasts to a platter.
  5. Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large roasting dish {glass or ceramic}.  Arrange 1 layer of browned chicken breasts over the sauce.  Spoon 2 cups of sauce over that layer.  Sprinkle half of the mozzarella, Parmesan & Pecorino over.  Repeat with remaining chicken, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan & Pecorino.
  6. Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley & marjoram & serve.

Breadcrumbs in FP

Breadcrumbs on Sheet

Chicken Breasts & Plastic

The assembly line.  Mission:  working right to left, get to that cast-iron skillet, sitting ready on the stovetop!

Chicken Breading Assembly line

Chicken Flour 1

Chicken Egg 2

Chicken Breadcrumbs 3

Chicken Fully Coated

Chicken in Skillet

Chicken Brown in skillet

Mozzarella Whole

Mozzarella shredded

Tomato Sauce in Pan

Chicken Sauce & Cheese Layered

Ready for the oven…

Chicken Parmesan ready for Oven

Hot out of the oven…

Chicken Parm out of the oven

Mangiare su!

K-Initial1

 

 

The World's Most Famous Tomato Sauce
 
The World's Most Famous Tomato Sauce {adapted from Marcella Hazan}
Ingredients
  • 1 {28 ounces} can whole tomatoes {I prefer San Marzano }
  • 1 {28 ounces} can diced tomatoes {Ditto}
  • 1 {18 ounces} jar organic tomato purée {I like Middle Earth Organics "Passata Rustica", chunky country-style purée}
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1½ onions, peeled and halved
  • Kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Stir occasionally, breaking up the whole tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Discard the onion before serving or using the sauce in other recipes.

 
Chicken Parmesan
 
Chicken Parmesan {adapted from Mario Batali}
Ingredients
  • 3-4 cups homemade breadcrumbs {from 3-4 french sandwich rolls, ground in a food processor}
  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 {+} tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 cups of The World's Most Famous Tomato Sauce, divided
  • 3 cups coarsely-grated, well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.  Spread breadcrumbs out, evenly on a jelly roll pan and toast in the oven for 30 minutes {stirring the breadcrumbs after 15 minutes} or until golden brown.
  2. Place chicken breast halves between sheets of plastic wrap.  Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to ⅓-inch thickness.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt & pepper.
  3. Place flour in a large dish.  Whisk eggs to blend in a separate large dish.  Place breadcrumbs in yet another large dish.  coat each chicken breast with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large cast-iron {or non-stick} skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until browned {about 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed...chicken will NOT be cooked through at this point}.  Transfer chicken breasts to a platter.
  5. Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large roasting dish {glass or ceramic}.  Arrange 1 layer of browned chicken breasts over the sauce.  Spoon 2 cups of sauce over that layer.  Sprinkle half of the mozzarella, Parmesan & Pecorino over.  Repeat with remaining chicken, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan & Pecorino.
  6. Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley & marjoram & serve.

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