I saw Lidia do this one day and I immediately wanted to do it myself. The result was even better than I thought. Be careful not to over-cook the chicken when browning. I buy inexpensive red bell peppers (since I can't get anything, but Mexican-style canned peppers around here) and fire-roast their skins off. Then I cut them into strips or pieces for use in this recipe. I also add a few oven-roasted garlic cloves for additional flavor.
For my tastes, this dish is drop-dead amazing and I'm seriously not a fan of chicken breast meat.
This is my version of Lidia's dish; hers is a little different. Be sure to look around for it on-line if you want to go directly to the source.
|4||8 oz boneless, skinless breasts|
|1½ tsp||Kosher salt|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1 large||can peeled plum tomatoes|
|8 oz||jar roasted red peppers|
|—||oven-roasted garlic cloves, fresh|
|1 tsp||dried oregano|
|1 cup||grated Provola or Fontina|
|2 tbsp||fresh basil|
|¼ cup||fine-grated grana podano-style cheese|
1. Cut breasts on a bias with a sharp knife to make scaloppine, about 2 or 3 slices of each breast. Season chicken with ½ tsp salt. (I don't do this, but brine mine in a ziploc bag with water and (lots more) salt for ½ hour prior to cooking.
2. Rinse (if brined) and dry chicken, dredge in flour and brown over medium high heat in 12" skillet with olive oil and butter. The pan's temperature should not be so hot as to see oil and butter produce smoke or even get seriously dark, about 2 minutes per side. Set cutlets aside on a plate.
3. Pour tomatoes, roasted peppers, oregano, garlic and remaining salt into the skillet with the oil and butter. Turn down to a simmer for about 5 minutes to make a sauce. I add in some of the excipient my canned tomatoes came in. Ensure the whole isn't too watery, though.
4. After the sauce has reduced, sprinkle the Provola (or Fontina) over the ingredients in the skillet. Place the scaloppine back in on top and nestle into the sauce and tomatoes. Strew the basil over all and cover for about 2 minutes more. Uncover, slosh onto serving platter and top with the grana podano.
This is perfect for squeamish Americans. It takes the edge off garlic leaving only the pleasant effect you associate with garlic bread. Cut a whole head of garlic in halve latterally (like the earth at its equator), soak with olive oil and wrap up completely in foil. Leave in a medium oven (circa 350°) for ½ hour. Cool, unwrap, remove residual paper and smash or add to to dishes. It's perfect for making garlic mashed potatoes, seasoning roasts, and this dish.