- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for shallow frying of cutlets
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 small Fresno chili pepper, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
- Salt and pepper
- A few leaves of fresh basil, torn
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Flour, for dredging
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (2 handfuls)
- A handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 4 Italian-style 8-inch hoagie/sub rolls
- 1/4 pound deli-sliced pepperoni
- 8 slices provolone cheese from the deli counter
In a saucepot, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chili pepper and oregano and soften for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine, 1 minute. Add the stock and tomatoes, season with a little salt and stir in a couple of leaves of torn basil. Simmer to thicken, 30 minutes.
Season the cutlets with salt and pepper, then dredge them in the flour, then eggs and finally in the breadcrumbs combined with the Parmigiano Reggiano and parsley. Heat a thin layer of EVOO in large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the cutlets in batches, a few minutes on each side, until deeply golden. Transfer to racks.
Turn the broiler on. Split the rolls open, leaving them hinged at back. Top each with some sauce, a layer of pepperoni and sliced provolone. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Top with the cutlets and serve, passing extra sauce at the table.