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Monday, November 21, 2011

Eat to the Beat: "Mambo Italiano" Chicken Parm

If you're equally as obsessed with music as you are with food, you can pretty easily come across a song that reminds you of something you'd eat, or vice versa.  Elly from Elly Says Opa came up with Eat to the Beat a few years ago and challenged food bloggers to come up with a dish that relates to a song.  Since Elly is coming upon her blog's 5th anniversary, she decided to bring back Eat to the Beat as a way to celebrate, and I was happy to join in on the fun.  The round-up will be posted on her blog on the 30th, so be sure to check it out!

The good news about Italian food is that it's as passionate as music, so it was easy for me to come up with a dish and a song that related to each other.  A traditional, comforting, "red sauce" Italian dish, paired up with an Italian song?  Perfetto.

"Mambo Italiano" by Rosemary Clooney talks about "the girl who went back to Napoli", which is where my mother came from and where many of our relatives still reside.  It's loud, it's dramatic, it's powerful...just like many of our family dinners and dishes.  The one I thought would represent that best is my chicken parmigiana.

There isn't much more that would scream "Italiano", eh?  Looking at this just makes me want to smile, pour a glass of wine and dig in.  After I boil up some pasta to serve with it, of course :)  It's another one of Frank's favorites...and I guarantee once you try it it'll be one of yours, too!

Congratulations on hitting the 5 year mark, Elly!

"Mambo Italiano" Chicken Parmigiana
3 pounds boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin (butterfly first if necessary)
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten (add about a tablespoon of water to thin them out)
extra virgin olive oil
marinara sauce
fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
grated pecorino romano cheese
fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly sprinkle chicken cutlets with salt and pepper, then dip in egg, followed by bread crumbs.  Shake off excess and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add chicken (do not crowd the pan) and turn after brown on one side.  Brown other side and remove from pan.  Continue until all chicken is cooked.  Place on paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil.

Spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of 9x13 pan.  Add chicken, then top with mozzarella and more marinara.  Sprinkle some pecorino romano on top.  It's okay if you need to stack some chicken on top of each other...just make sure each piece is covered with cheese and sauce.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbling (check after 20-25 minutes).  Top with fresh parsley and serve.

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At November 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Blogger Stephanie said...

Now I REALLY want chicken parm... I've been craving it for weeks.

At November 21, 2011 at 8:29 AM , Blogger Joanne said...

Haha LOVE that song and anything parm-style! That's definitely some big bold comfort food!

At November 21, 2011 at 8:48 AM , Anonymous elly said...

Looks delicious! Great song choice and dish. Thanks so much for participating!

At November 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM , Anonymous Katerina said...

This is totally decadent! That's why I love it!

At November 21, 2011 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Krystal R said...

This looks great Melissa! Pass me a large plate of all of this!!! YUM! And I love that song, too.

At November 21, 2011 at 4:21 PM , Anonymous Hezzi-D said...

Yum-I so love chicken parm, it looks great!

At November 22, 2011 at 5:50 AM , Blogger Peggy said...

Love the idea of pairing music with food! This chicken parm looks amazing =)

At November 23, 2011 at 1:47 AM , Anonymous Lavinia said...

I love pollo parmigiano! Great recipe!

At November 28, 2011 at 2:23 PM , Blogger Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Yum! Sounds delicious!

At December 1, 2011 at 2:24 PM , Blogger DouxProject said...

This looks divine! So making this tomorrow!


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