Non-Traditional (and Italian) Fried-ish Chicken with Tomato Confit Toasts

This is a great recipe to shake up your normal, everyday, boring chicken. Split chicken breasts encased in a light breading/batter atop a simple spinach salad. The hardest part is making sure not to scorch your tomato confit or burn the chicken. But if you keep an eye on things, you’ll be right as rain!

Timing: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut horizontally in half (you’re making your own cutlets here; make sure you make these as equally thick pieces as possible)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped finely
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 14 1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano (why do all the hard work, let your canned tomatoes do some of that for you and get pre-herbed ones!)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced, then chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 4-inch pieces of baguette, halved horizontally (or more if you are a carb-aholic like I am)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 4 teaspoons drained capers
  • Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Start your tomato confit first, since that will take the most baby-ing. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook your shallots and garlic, along with the crushed red pepper for about 2 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the wine and cook until it reduces to half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes (and all that juicy goodness). Simmer on a heat slightly over low until the mixture gets thick and most of the liquid has evaporated. Make sure you stir frequently, so it doesn’t burn. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Now make sure to taste this mixture and add salt and pepper before you set it aside and let it cool slightly.

While the tomato confit is cooking for that 10-15 minutes, make your doctored-up delicious mayonnaise. If you’re anything like me, you hate the taste of store-bought mayonnaise, so adding some extra ingredients helps make it your own. Mix together the zest of the lemon, the juice of half of the lemon, salt, and pepper (and a pinch of cayenne pepper if you prefer). Set the mixture aside to marinate. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor will be.

Whisk flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper together in a shallow bowl or plate. In a separate shallow, large bowl, whisk together the eggs, the grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup of the shredded parmesan cheese, basil, salt and pepper.Season the chicken with salt and pepper as well. I know this may seem like A LOT of seasoning, but each layer needs to be seasoned in order for you to taste the seasoning and to make the whole dish come together. Melt the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Dredge the chicken in the flour, and then in the egg mixture (this might seem backwards, but it makes a delicious crust on the chicken without having to double-dredge the chicken). Cook in the skillet until browned and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. If you are working in batches, transfer the chicken to a cookie sheet with a rack on it in a 250 degree oven while you are working on the second batch.

Drizzle some olive oil over the cut side of the baguette pieces. Toast your baguette slices either in the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown. Top the baguette pieces with your tomato confit (it won’t be runny). Dress your spinach either in a large bowl or individually with the remaining half of the lemon, two tablespoons of olive oil, capers, and shredded parmesan cheese. Top the salad with the toast and the chicken. Drizzle the mayonnaise on top of everything and enjoy! This is sure to impress your lover or your family and friends!

chicken
Italian Fried-Ish Chicken with Tomato Confit Toasts
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