Without intending for it to happen, I seem to have entered an Italian phase. Calzones 2 weekends ago, Grilled Meatballs with Smokey Tomato Sauce and Grilled Garlic and Cheese Bread last weekend. When I asked my dad what he would like me to make him for his Father's Day meal, imagine my shock when he said "Chicken Parmesan". My shock came mostly from the fact he supposedly hates chicken. Plus I wasn't sure how something with breading would translate to the grill. To my relief I was able to find many recipes for outdoor versions of this dish and they simply passed on the breadcrumbs. I found a Rachel Ray recipe that looked yummo on paper and seemed easy to make. Did I just say that? Sorry. I also made up another batch of Grilled Garlic & Cheese Bread to have with our garden salad & the meal. For anyone who is interested here is a link for when I posted the pictures for making the: GRILLED GARLIC & CHEESE BREAD.
Cutting to the chase, this was an excellent recipe. My dad (and everyone else) loved this recipe and ate way more than we originally intended. The sauce had great flavor and was one of the tastiest sauces I have had. This was a bit surprising since it was relatively simple to make. The chicken breasts, which were NOT marinated, were very moist (I blame the BGE for this) and the grilled flavor worked well with the smoked mozzarella cheese used on top.
The sauce used: Fire roasted diced tomatoes, diced onions, minced garlic, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, EVOO. I didn't chop up the cup of fresh basil until it was time to start using the sauce.
I made a double batch of the sauce to serve on some spaghetti as a side dish, so I needed to use a wide sauté pan vs a large sauce pan to start. The onions, garlic & red pepper flakes were softened in a sauté pan for about 10 minutes.
The softened onions, garlic & red paper flakes get transferred to a large sauce pan...
...and the fire-raoasted diced tomatoes have been added. I heated the sauce to a gentle boil and then reduced it to a simmer while I started the garlic bread and grilled the chicken.
The thin chicken breasts were pounded down to about 1/4" thickness and were brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper.
The chicken is on the grill. The Egg is set up for direct grilling at 400 degrees using the cast iron grill grate installed with the skinny side of the bar up. The chicken grilled 8 minutes total and I turned it every 2 minutes.
Before using the sauce on the chicken I added in the cup of fresh basil and some salt & pepper.
I really like the turbo boil feature on the new cooktop. 6 quarts of water were brought to a rolling boil in 4 minutes. You do need to keep an eye on this burner because changes happen at the blink of an eye. This sure beats 30 -40 minutes to do the same thing on my old cooktop.
Time to make the chicken parm. While the broiler is preheating I assembled the dish. First up was the grilled chicken...
,,,the chicken is covered with a layer of the sauce. The other half of the sauce was served with a side of thin spaghetti.
Next is some parmesan-regianno cheese.
Lastly was a half pound of smoked mozzarella cheese which I had thinly sliced.
The chicken parm is emerging after a 3 minute stay under the broiler. Time to eat!
The Grilled Chicken Parm was served with the Grilled Garlic & Cheese Bread.
This dish was as tasty as it was colorful. The fire roasted tomatoes went well with the grilled chicken and smoked mozzarella.
This was the first time I had ever made either veal or chicken parmesan or anything remotely close to this meal. I was just hoping my dad would like it, since it was his special request. I knew he really liked it when he shook my hand as we were standing up to leave the table. He has never done that before and to me something like that is the biggest and best reward you can get from this hobby.
Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there.