I have recently posted a number of Croatian and Italian dishes on my blog in honour of Eurovision. There has been a Foodovision site set up to share recipes from all the nations competing in the Eurovision Song Contest. Our community group has had a wonderful time sharing and enjoying the recipes that have been posted. Croatia has not been a part of the competition since 2013, they have competed many times in the past. Italy however, has and this next post is honouring a classic favourite dish in many households, including mine, as well as restaurants.
1kg Chicken thigh fillets
3/4 cup plain flour (for dusting)
3-4 cups of bread crumbs
4 Eggs (beaten)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil (for frying)
1 Spanish Onion (chopped)
1 clove Garlic (crushed)
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
700 ml Passata sauce or crushed tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
Mozzarella cheese (cut into slices)
Parmigiano cheese (grated)
Cut the chicken fillets in half and with a mallet thin the fillets skin side up by pounding a little. Arrange the following ingredients, flour, eggs, and the breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper to the beaten egg and mix well. Combine the parsley with the breadcrumbs.
Take a piece of chicken and dust with flour, add into the egg mixture covering the piece well, coat with the breadcrumbs. Ensure that you press firmly on each side as you are coating the meat with the breadcrumbs. Place the crumbed chicken on a tray and repeat the process until all the meat has been crumbed. Ensure that the pieces are spread evenly on the tray. Place the tray into the fridge for a couple of hours (do not cover the chicken pieces).
In a frying pan add enough oil and place on medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough place the chicken pieces in the pan (three to four at a time) depending on the size of your pan. Cook each side until golden brown and remove from the heat placing on a plate. Repeat this until all the chicken has been cooked.
Over medium heat add oil to a pan then the onion and saute for a few minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Once the onion and garlic have browned a little, add the tomato paste and cook for a further two to three minutes. Add the passata sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the seasoning and simmer gently for thirty minutes. Once cooked place aside.
Heat your oven or grill to medium/high. In a tray place the crumbed chicken pieces, add one to two tablespoons of the tomato sauce and then place the Mozzarella cheese slices on top, sprinkle a little grated Parmigiano cheese. Place the tray in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Keeping an eye on the cooking process.
I served Italian Style Green Beans and Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic with this dish.
By placing the crumbed chicken into the fridge for a couple of hours helps the breadcrumbs stick to the meat better, they dry out a little. This also prevents the breadcrumbs falling into the oil and burning. By doing this you also get less spitting occurring whilst the meat is cooking.
When frying chicken I use two pans this saves cooking time.
The green beans are cooked in the leftover tomato sauce. The beans just need to be coated in a little sauce. For this dish I used Euro beans (they are full of flavour). They were cooked for about 30 minutes.
For the Roasted Potatoes I used the Desiree variety. They are firm and great for roasting. Wash and pat dry the potatoes, quarter the potatoes with the skin on, coat in Olive Oil. Line a tray with baking paper, place the potatoes in the tray, spread a generous amount of Rosemary and Garlic, season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for approximately 45-60 minutes on 200°C. I peeled and cut my Garlic into smaller pieces, you can however, leave the skin and keep the Garlic whole. This works just as well.