Saturday, March 7, 2009

Festa Italiana 2009 Part 1: Chicken Parmesan Subs

What kind of Italian-American would I be if I turned a blind eye to Marie's of Proud Italian Cook and Maryann's of Finding la Dolce Vita annual virtual Festa Italiana? Furthermore what kind of Festa would I be if I decided I was too busy to share some of my recent dishes bore out of Italian tradition? The answer: A horrible one. If the drift isn't being caught, I am an actual Festa. Don't let my last name of Joyce fool you because my mother is certifiably Loretta Anne Festa, so it is my honor-nay-my duty to participate in the 2009 Festa Italiana or Italian Fest. Since this is an ethnic duty and destiny for me to fulfill I am bringing 3 dishes to the Festa and letting my hosts choose which ones they like best. First up my famous Chicken Parmesan Toasted Subs.

In order to make an exceptional chicken parm sub, you gotta start with your own marinara. Here is a quick and easy sauce to make just enough for subs. If you usually make a whole pot of gravy for the week's meals (as we always did), that's perfect because you'll only need a few tablespoons for these mouth-watering mamas.

A Minuscule Marinara
  • 3 Tblsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 28oz can of Centro tomato puree
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • 3 fresh basil leaves
  • **OPTIONAL** Many Italian cooks use pork to flavor up their marinara sauce. If a quick sauce is what you're looking for, omit the pork.** If you want to add pork, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Put 4 pieces of sweet or your favorite flavor of sausage in a pan in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Take the sausage out and let rest 3-5 minutes and cut each link into 3-4 pieces. Set aside.
  1. In a medium sauce pot, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion, carrot peels, chopped red pepper, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium heat.
  2. Add the sausage pieces at this point if you are flavoring with pork also.
  3. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the tomato puree and stir entire contents for about 5 minutes turning the heat up a bit as you stir.
  5. Let the sauce reach a boil and then reduce the heat. Add the salt, black pepper, onion powder, dried oregano and parsley and fresh basil. Start with 1 tsp. of each spice. Stir in the spices and let the sauce cook down for about 10 minutes.
  6. Taste it and add spices as you see fit.
  7. Technically, the sauce is ready when its hot and the flavor is right for you. Of course, the longer you cook the sauce over a low heat the more the flavors get a chance to develop. I like to get the sauce seasoned up and then start my chicken thighs letting the sauce cook just a bit while more.

Breaded Chicken Thighs (2 thighs per sub). I made 2 subs so the recipe here is just for a couple. Its easily doubled or tripled if you're feeding more.
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • dash of cream or milk
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 sub rolls
  • about 10 thin slices of whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves
  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Trim the fat off the thighs the best you can.
  3. Put the flour, beaten eggs and milk or cream, and the breadcrumbs and grated cheese in 3 separate containers.
  4. Dredge each thigh in the flour first, egg mixture second, and then coat in the bread crumbs for the finale.
  5. Put the thighs on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Poke each thigh a few times with a fork. Take 1-2 spoonfuls of sauce and pour it over each thigh. Using the backside of a spoon, rub the sauce into the chicken thighs.
  7. Bake the thighs for 17-20 minutes in the oven.
  8. Take the chicken out of the oven and put your sub rolls in the oven for about 2 minutes for a nice toasting.
  9. Up the oven heat to 450.
  10. Split each baked thigh down the middle and put them in the toasted subs. Put 1-2 more spoonfuls of sauce on top of the chicken thighs.
  11. Take 3-4 fresh basil leaves and put them on top of the sauce.
  12. Next, take 5-4 thin slices of whole milk mozzarella cheese and layer if over the sub.
  13. Line a baking sheet with foil and put the subs on the sheet and into the hot oven.
  14. Let the cheese fully melt and take out to cool. Leave the subs in longer if you like a browned cheese topping.
Takes it! I promise these chicken parm subs will not disappoint any palette! If the kids are a bit picky, omit the basil and they'll be as happy as pigs in mud. You can also keep your sauce going for a good hour or two letting the sausage and sauce intermingle in a marriage of combustible flavor. After this meal, you've got sausage and gravy for another meal so boil up some pasta and BOOM, another incredible Italian meal.


Anonymous said...

Well, "Miss Festa"! Thanks for joining our festa LOL!
This looks delicious!
Maryann xox

Proud Italian Cook said...

Rachel, AKA Festa, Thank you for this tasty dish, I'm sure it will be a hit on our table! Thanks so much for joining us. I'm sure you're making your mother proud with all your good cooking!
xox, Marie

Lauren said...

Looks great! I can't wait to try this!

Sapuche said...

Oh man, you're killing me with this recipe. I'm sitting in a cafe (the kind that doesn't serve real food) with my stomach growling, and your chicken parmesan sub would so hit the spot right now. It sounds and looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing this!

Tangled Noodle said...

This is so good on so many levels - I just want to eat!

The Duo Dishes said...

Mmm, ooey gooey subs. Love all that cheese.

Jescel said...

Yum! My hubby likes chicken parm so he would be delighted if I do this for him... :o)

SoCal Pastry Chef said...

OMG... you have to be kidding me? These look A-MAZ-ING!
Wow... really. Great job. Good plan and recipe.

buy cialis said...

That looks delicious, thanks for the recipe, now i have something to do on weekend thanks

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