Now THAT’S AMORE!!! 😀
Oh, Hello! 😀 And thanks for stopping by! You’re in for a very special treat today, lemme tell ya! It’s reveal day for The Secret Club, and as always, I really had a BLAST!! This super cool club is made up of a fabulous group of bloggers that get assigned, secretly, to another blogger in the group once a month. We each choose a recipe from our assigned blogger; and, make it, photo it, and review it! It’s a wonderful way to make new friends, try new recipes, and help each other out by promoting each other’s blogs!! 😀
Firstly, I have a shocking announcement!!
I have a “twin”!! Yeppers!! 😀
We must’ve been born in Italy, most definitely daughters (…or nieces… or some near relation) of actress Sophia Loren…..and we were kidnapped and separated at birth! Yep. Maxine, of the blog, WHYIAMNOTSKINNY, was stolen from our hospital, swaddled in fresh grape leaves, cradled in a wicker basket and whisked away to South Africa, then moved to Brussles. I was smuggled aboard a trading barge, nestled in a crate of plum tomatoes, and shipped off to the breadbasket and cornfields of the midwest, and then moved to the east coast and state of New Jersey. (Somehow, I think she got the better end of the deal… )
It just must be! 😀
I have found my long lost twin!!!
Ok, not really. But wow do we have a lot in common and…..I confess…..”sound” alike. (In “real life”, I swear like a sailor.) Her blog had me cracking up so badly that I had tears streaming down my face! 😀 Put the two of us in the same kitchen and…hahaha…omg! My hubby is speechless, laughing, and just shook his head. 😉 😀 (He should know better by now than to read over my shoulder! 😉 )
Maxine is married to her hubby, whom she lovingly refers to as “HIM”, which stands for *. And together they have a beautiful little girl who is, by now, a toddler, and most likely already knows how to run the show. 😉
Anyways, my (much younger) “twin” (a.ka. “sister from another mister”), Maxine, is an Italian food lover just like me! But her blog, like mine, has a wide variety of cuisines, as well as reviews of some really cool restaurants she’s been to! So there’s plenty of recipes to choose from! I had a whopping 15 of them bookmarked! And I could barely narrow it down to 11!!
I saw so many cool things to make, like her Stromboli, Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake (kill me now! GAWD I love cheesecake!!), Coffee Cream Chocolate Swiss Roll (did someone saaaaay COFFEE…AND chocolate?!!), and some super cool Cheese Rolls that I swear I will make soon! 😉
But I just kept going back to her Chicken Parmigiana! (We must get it from “our mom”, Sophia! 😉 )
I was only a little worried at first, that my “sister” would have the upper hand and Mama Sophia would like hers better, because “passata” isn’t available here. But I wanted mama’s approval, so I used my home-canned tomatoes and dried herbs that I grew from my very own garden this past summer. (*OH, yea! Brownie points for sure! 😉 ) 😀
(*Click here if you’d like to make this easy sauce, too!)
I did just as Maxine said, and pounded the sh*t out of those chicken breasts getting them nice and thin …. after first butterflying them open. (Hey. I’m not wonder woman. I needed a head start!)
I then dipped them into the beaten egg and a mixture of Italian breadcrumbs and panko crumbs (with the parmesan) to ensure a little crunch on the outside so that it looked more like Maxine’s. My Italian crumbs by themselves just looked too lame for this.
I fried those babies up to a gorgeous golden brown on both sides, and placed them into two pans ladled with my homemade sauce! They were so pretty, that I almost hated to cover them up!
*I did do these babies one at a time, and rinsed and wiped out the pan, adding new oil each time I fried. That way, they all came out as pretty as the first one, if you know what I mean! 😉 Take the time to do this and they’ll all look like rock stars!
Especially the one that turned out heart-shaped!!
Hence…that’s amore!! 😀
But mi and Maxine? Not smother them with more sauce and gobs of mozzarella?
Hahaha. Like that’s not going to happen.
Ok, I’m pretty sure even Ms. Loren herself would approve of this sauce!
And the first pan was looking gorgeous!!
But wait! There’s more! 😉
Then top with nice thick slices of fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheese!
I was out of fresh parmesan, and only had asiago and romano on hand,
so I opted for the dreaded green can crap. (All I had).
But if you have fresh parm, please use that!
Definitely will next time!
Then just bake to euphorious perfection!
The weather has been insanely and oddly warm here, so I popped out to the deck and picked some of my parsley that came back after I cut it down for a nice, fresh garnish!
The entire house was smelling so good that it was intoxicating!!! (Maybe it was the three glasses of wine I had while I was cooking?) I dunno. But my hubby had to be chased out of the kitchen with a broom until I could finish up!!!
I served this chicken parmigiano fit for the gods alongside twirls of steaming, sauce-laced spaghetti, extra “crappy cheese”, more wine, duh, and…..nothing else but bread and butter! We skipped the rabbit food and just indulged our greedy little selves in Italian nirvana.
What a supper to remember!!!!! This was heavenly!!! Everything came together beautifully, my homemade sauce could not have worked better, the chicken was tender, juicy, and lightly coated, and we ate like we hadn’t eaten in days! Homemade is always so much better than any restaurant around here! This is a must-make, and if you don’t have passata in your area either, do try my sauce or see my *note at the bottom for a quickie recipe.
And that’s it for this month’s Secret Recipe Club! Thanks for having me, Sarah! And thank YOU my twin, Maxine! This was the best chicken parmigiana that I have ever made!
All inspired by you and Mama Sophia! 😉 😀
I think “Mama Sophia” would be very proud of us both! 😉
Please be sure to pop on over to Maxine’s place, WHYIAMNOTSKINNY,
to see her awesome collection of recipes!
And some wonderful restaurant reviews to boot!
Also, do check out all of the other wonderful recipes that my fellow bloggers made!
Group B ROCKS!!! 😀 Nice job as always, everyone! 😀
Adapted from WHYIAMNOTSKINNY. "Passata" isn't available in your area, either? No worries, you can either make my homemade sauce as mentioned above (recipe link provided), or just make my basic "quickie recipe" that I use in a pinch when my summer sauces are all gone: 1 1/2 cups tomato puree* (12 oz.), 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder. (Adjust all to own taste.) This is the amount that you would need for this recipe. Double if you like a lot of sauce, making 4 chicken breasts, and would like to add some sauce to your cooked pasta as I did.
*For tomato puree, I just use canned whole tomatoes and run them through the food processor or blender with the juice.
Add all to a small saucepan and simmer until cooked down a little to desired thickness. Keep in mind that the sauce will further thicken during baking time.
"Passata" isn't available in your area, either? No worries, you can either make my homemade sauce as mentioned above (recipe link provided), or just make my basic "quickie recipe" that I use in a pinch when my summer sauces are all gone: 1 1/2 cups tomato puree* (12 oz.), 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, 1/8 tsp. garlic powder. (Adjust all to own taste.) This is the amount that you would need for this recipe. Double if you like a lot of sauce, making 4 chicken breasts, and would like to add some sauce to your cooked pasta as I did.