Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each), tenderloins removed
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
8 ounces spaghetti or linguine
Salt and black pepper

First, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then start with the sauce. Pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil into a pot set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Dump in the tomatoes, along with the dried basil, dried oregano, sugar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until it has thickened up nicely.

While the sauce is cooking, slice each chicken breast in half horizontally, so you end up with four roughly 4-ounce portions of chicken. Each one should be about 1/4-inch thick.

Crack the egg into a small pie pan or baking dish, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and beat until combined. In another small pie pan or baking dish, combine the bread crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of pepper.

Dip one of the chicken cutlet into the beaten, and then into the bread crumbs. Toss to coat. Place it on a wire rack set over a large pan, and repeat process with other cutlets.

Preheat the broiler. Pour the rest of the olive oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil just starts to shimmer, add the cutlets. They should all fit in a single layer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Wash the rack while you cook the cutlets, and dry. Set the cooked cutlets on the cleaned wire rack.

Add the pasta along with 2 teaspoons of salt to the boiling water. Cook according to the directions on the box. Drain when done and set aside.

Top each cutlet with a quarter of the mozzarella and parmesan. Place wire rack set over the pan under the broiler, about 4 to 5 inches from the top, and broil for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned and bubbly.

Divide the spaghetti into four portions and plate. Top each with a cutlet and a generous helping of the sauce. Serve.

Chicken Parmesan

3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 3/4 cups buttermilk, divided
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 loaf crusty italian bread, crust removed, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
5 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 quart Italian-American red sauce
10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, basil, or a mix

With a sharp chef’s knife, split chicken breasts in half horizontally. Working one piece at a time, place inside a plastic zipper-lock bag and pound with a meat pounder or the bottom of a skillet to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk and minced garlic to bowl. Season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Turn chicken with hands until salt, pepper, and garlic are evenly incorporated and all the chicken is coated in buttermilk mixture. Transfer to a large zipper-lock bag, press out the air, and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight (see note).

Meanwhile, place bread slices on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Leave out on counter for at least 4 hours and up to overnight until mostly dried.

The next day, break bread into rough pieces (leave the wire rack in the rimmed baking sheet) and combine with 4 ounces Parmesan cheese in the food processor. Season with black pepper. Process until bread is finely ground, about 20 seconds. Transfer mixture to a large shallow bowl or pie plate.

Place flour in a second shallow bowl or pie plate. Whisk eggs, 2 tablespoons buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon of the flour in a third pie plate. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk over the breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture and incorporate with your fingertips. The mixture should be mealy, but hold together in clumps if you squeeze it together with your hands.

Working one piece of chicken at a time, remove from the bag and add to flour. Turn to coat, shake off excess, and add to egg mixture. Turn to coat, letting excess drip off, and add to breadcrumb mixture. Turn to coat, piling crumbs on top and pressing down firmly so a thick layer adheres. Transfer coated chicken to the wire rack and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place sauce in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until barely simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it registers 375 to 400°F on an instant read or deep-frying thermometer. Working in batches, carefully add chicken by lowering the cutlets away from you into the oil. Add as many cutlets as will fit in one layer (2 to 3).

Cook, swirling pan gently and using a thin flexible metal spatula to loosen chicken if it sticks, until chicken is golden-brown and crisp on bottom side, about 2 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula and a fork, carefully flip chicken and cook until golden brown on second side. Transfer chicken to a paper-towel lined plate to drain and repeat with remaining chicken.

Spoon 1/3 of sauce onto the bottom of a casserole or oven-safe serving dish. Shingle chicken pieces on top of sauce. Top with more sauce, forming a line down the center. Combine mozzarella and remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese in a large bowl and toss to coat. Lay cheese mixture over chicken in a straight line down the center.

Transfer to the oven and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately grate fresh Parmesan on top. Allow to rest for 3 minutes, top with chopped herbs, and serve immediately.