Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Deconstructed Pollo di Parmigiana

Deconstructed Pollo di Parmigiana

Recently, I was made aware of a recipe contest sponsored by Dei Fratelli Tomato Products to celebrate National Tomato Month which was in October. Dei Fratelli called it a Ripened Recipe Contest. In the interest of full disclosure, ingredients were provided for recipe development. No further compensation was given. All opinions, text, and photos are my own.

When I agreed to this, I was hoping I would be sent some canned tomatoes that had not gone through extensive processing. If you have read my website for any length of time, you'll note I prefer to prepare my dishes completely from scratch. Thus, I felt uncomfortable using a jarred marinara sauce but I can't fault an ingredient list of crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, sugar, sea salt, onions, extra-virgin olive oil, oregano, basil, citric acid, spices and garlic.

Let's discuss the dish itself for a moment. I became enamored with chicken parmesan while I was on vacation in the Philippines visiting Mrs. Stuntman's family when I was still courting her. I remember placing my room service order for it on more than one occasion which provided inspiration when I replicated the dish on my first website using Pam's recipe found on For the Love of Cooking. The classic preparation for this dish is to pound a boneless skinless chicken breast to an even thickness, bread it, deep fry it, then top it with Marinara, mozzarella and parmesan in that order before putting it in the oven to melt the cheese.

I decided to divide the parts, leaving the bread whole and separate the Marinara from the chicken. I didn't have to do much with a pre-made Marinara but I did fortify the flavor by sweating an onion before simmering it.

The Challenge

Be declared the grand prize winner of the Ripened Recipe Contest sponsored by Dei Fratelli Tomato Products

The Source

This dish is a Crazy Foodie Stunts original recipe.


4 slices sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 thinly-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 24-ounce jar Dei Fratelli Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
All-purpose flour
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (for garnish)


1. Finish the mise en place. Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place the sourdough slices on a aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Spread an even amount of butter on each of the slices, then top with some parmesan and mozzarella before setting aside. Separately, pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season them with salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the Marinara. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion to sweat, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.

Add in the Marinara sauce and bring to a simmer. Maintain the simmer while the chicken and toast are prepared.

3. Sear the chicken and toast the sourdough. In a separate skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Once it starts to smoke, quickly dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess, then add it to the pan. Brown the chicken, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side.

While the chicken cooks, toast the sourdough in the oven until the cheese has melted, approximately 7 minutes. To plate, spoon some Marinara onto a plate and top with a slice of toast then chicken. Garnish with parsley and serve.


Like the filet dish I prepared for Food & Wine Conference several months ago, I'm unsure if I'm successful at the time I have published this. The dish was well seasoned and reminded me of the classic preparation of this dish since the original flavor profile was still present. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the contest, DB! Damn, this looks really really really delicious. How do you get that perfect crunchy coating on the chicken? Every time I try coating and frying meat, it looks like a hot mess, with most of the crust falling off. It's right before lunch time and I'm starving now after reading your post, lol.


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