Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today I did something that I have never done before. I watched a cooking show. Buddy from the show Cake Boss has a new daytime show called Kitchen Boss where he shows how to cook his family's recipes. Today he cooked Chicken Sorrentino Fusilli. First off, it was fun to watch him. I really just enjoy watching him on any of his shows because while he is a tough Italian at times, he has a big heart. Second, he made it seem so easy and fun to cook, and third, it looked like it tasted amazing.

So I was making my shopping list while I was watching, so I printed out the recipe and wrote down what ingredients I needed from the store. Another first for me today: I went to Publix. I decided to go today because they had a lot of sales that matched up with some coupons that I had. (I saved $26 there today btw) For the ingredients for this recipe I decided not to skimp out. I got the good stuff. Most of the times I get whatever is the cheapest, but this was one of those things that needs the best.

So here is the recipe:

2halves boneless, skinless chicken breast (approx 6-7 oz. each), trimmed
1crushed clove garlic
1small eggplant, 1 pound or less
2thin slices prosciutto
1/2cup breadcrumbs
2large egg
1/2cup all purpose flour
1/2pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
2tablespoons grated parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil
2cups marinara sauce
1/4pound fusilli pasta, cooked al dente
Few leaves torn fresh basil
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken breast halves with salt, pepper, drizzle with olive oil and turn to coast with the crushed garlic. Let rest while you prepare the sauce and eggplant.
  3. In a small saucepot, heat the tomato sauce and warm through.
  4. Peel the eggplant and slice across the width into 1/4 inch rounds – you will only need four pieces for this recipe. Place the breadcrumbs and the flour each in two shallow plates. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat. Dip each piece of eggplant first into the flour, tapping off excess, then into the beaten egg, allowing excess to drip off, then lastly, coat in crumbs. Heat a large (12”) skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup oil. When oil is shimmering gently lay in the eggplant and fry until golden brown on each side. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside while finishing the chicken.
  5. Heat a cast iron grill pan (or other grilling device) over medium high heat. Grill the chicken breasts on each side until nicely marked but not cooked through. Set aside.
  6. In a bowl, toss the fusilli with 1/2 of the marinara sauce – enough to coat well and sprinkle with a little grated parmesan. Place in the bottom of a small, lightly oiled baking dish. Place the chicken pieces side by side on top of the pasta. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of prosciutto, two pieces of eggplant and the sliced mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through – approx 10 minutes. You can brown the cheese with a quick turn under the broiler, if desired. Top with remaining sauce and fresh basil.

I've got to admit that I have never used fresh garlic before, I even had to buy a garlic press in order to make this, but once I peeled it and cut I just had to sit and sniff it for a bit. I'm glad I bought more than enough because I will be using it again, and often!

Another thing I learned from Buddy today, add salt to boiling water when cooking noodles. This took my noodles to a whole new level! I added at least a tablespoon of salt to the water. He didn't give an amount, but I did see him poor a good bit out of a bowl, so I think a tablespoon was a good amount.

He also said extra virgin olive oil was key! Just thought you may want to know that in case you want to try this recipe and think about skimping out and getting the cheap stuff! (luckily I happened to have a coupon for the Crisco EV olive oil!)

The chicken was so easy to make, as was everything else in this recipe. Oh and my kitchen has never smelt so amazing! The only complaint I had was the eggplant, but I think that was my fault, or really my stoves fault. It kinda tilted which put all of the oil to one side of the pan and in the end the eggplant wasn't quite stiff enough.

When I finally was done cooking my husband walked over and was amazed. The smell was amazing! David said he didn't want to eat it because it looked so good. He didn't want to mess it up! Before I dug into it he made me wait so he could take a picture.

And in case you were wondering, it was delicious!

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