Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Romano Chicken with Pomodoro Sauce

“Pomodoro” means tomato in Italian, so this recipe translates into chicken crusted in romano cheese and topped with a simple, yet deeply flavored tomato sauce. The key word here is simple. Five ingredients—tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and fresh herbs—make this sauce a succulent accompaniment to the chicken.

Pomodoro Ingredients
In Italy, pomodoro is typically a sauce made for pasta, so the dish is “pasta al pomodoro.” I think it works well as a simple sauce for chicken breasts too. Either way, the intention is the same: quick, light, simple, and fresh.

I served the chicken with couscous, but steamed rice or orzo would be good too.

Tip: Choose tomatoes that are large enough to peel easily, such as cluster, stem, hothouse, or even large roams.

Serves 3

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 1 lb tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, oregano, rosemary, or flat-leaf parsley)
  • flour, for dredging
  • 2/3 cup finely grated romano cheese
  • 2/3 cup panko (or other fine, dry breadcrumbs)
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz each)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
  • cooked couscous, for serving (optional)
Chopped Tomatoes
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes. 
  2. Add the tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens slightly, 8-9 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
Garlic in Oil
Pomodoro Beginning to Cook
Thickened Sauce
Pomodoro Sauce
  1. Meanwhile, spread the flour on a large plate. Combine the romano cheese and panko in a large baking dish.
  2. Dredge the chicken in flour and shake off excess. Dip in the beaten egg, letting excess drip off. Press each piece into the cheese mixture, turning to coat both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on the bottom, 6-7 minutes. (Add a little more oil if the skillet becomes too dry.)
  4. Turn and cook until the chicken is just cooked through and the coating is golden and crispy, about 6 minutes longer depending on thickness.
Egg-Dipped Chicken in Romano Mixture 
Romano Crusted Chicken 
Chicken Beginning to Cook
Chicken after Turning 
Cooked Chicken
Plate the chicken breasts and spoon pomodoro sauce on top. Spoon couscous (if using) alongside.

Romano Chicken with Pomodoro Sauce

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