Sometimes television programmes prompt Mr Gourmand to request certain dishes for his dinner, and after being bugged to cook a meal like Carmela from The Sopranos, I decided to do a dish often talked about on the show which is Chicken Parmesan.
To make the tomato sauce you will need:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
Tin of chopped tomatos
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons tomato puree
200 g pitted black kalamata olives, in olive oil
200 ml red wine
You will also need 6 Chicken Breasts (depending on how many people you are feeding and how greedy they are), 4 Aubergines sliced, 200g Breadcrumbs and 200g grated parmesan cheese.
Fry the aubergine slices in olive oil until golden brown, then set aside.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry until lightly browned Set aside
To Make the Tomato Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until softened but not browned. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a further 3-5 minutes, mixing well. Add the capers, tomato puree, olives and red wine. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Oil a shallow ovenproof dish and place the aubergines in a layer over the base of the dish and then add the fried chicken breasts and pour half of the tomato sauce in and around the chicken. Add a further layer of Aubergine and tomato sauce.
Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and parmesan
Bake the chicken for 40 to 45 minutes until cooked through.
You will need:
500ml double cream
3 cloves of garlic
A few sprigs of lemon thyme
8 large King Edward potatoes
100g Gruyère cheese
Heat oven to 180C (you can put this in the oven at the same time as the dish above). put the cream, milk and garlic into a saucepan and bring gently to a simmer.
Slice the potatoes very finely, about 3-4mm ( It’s best to use a mandolin to do this or you will end up with thick slices like mine) place in an ovenproof dish in layers with small amounts of butter and thyme.
Pour over the garlic infused cream. Scatter over the cheese, and bake for 30 mins until the potatoes are soft and browned – increase the heat for 5 mins if not brown enough.
The finished dishes together.
I had mixed feelings about the final result. I put more breadcrumbs (double) in the meal you see before you than in my adapted recipe, which made the dish slightly too dry as the breadcrumbs soaked up the sauce. Oh well, you live and learn. preparing the odd not-so-good dish makes Mr Gourmand appreciate the better ones all the more, and also stops him harassing me for meals he see’s on the TV!