Crispy Chicken Parm BLT Hero Sandwiches
Rach combines viewers’ favorites in this ultimate chicken parm, BLT sandwich.
Bonus tips: Deconstruct the recipe for separate gems. Siena-Style Garlic Sauce is a simple sauce that can be used just with pasta and in a variety of recipes. The ricotta mix can be used as a delicious spread or dip with bread and/or veggies. Check out Rach’s unique mixing of Panko breadcrumbs, lemon zest and more to give chicken cutlets extra crunch and taste.
For the Siena-Style Garlic Sauce:
- About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1 fresh red chili pepper, thinly sliced with seeds or 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, (about 1/3 palmful)
- 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (32-ounces)
- Sea salt, to taste
For the Chicken Parm Cutlets:
- 2 chicken breasts, halved across, 4 cutlets total
- Salt and pepper
- Flour, for dredging, in shallow dish
- 2 large eggs, beaten in shallow dish
- 1 cup plain fine breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs or homemade coarse breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Olive oil, for shallow frying
For the BLT Hero Fixins:
- 8 slices good quality, thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup half-n-half or whole milk
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 pound ball fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- Heart of romaine leaves, torn
- 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced
- Italian-style rolls with sesame seeds, split and toasted
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Prepare the sauce: Heat EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add garlic and chilies, and stir until very fragrant and garlic is light golden in color at edges, 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and break them up with a potato masher. Season with sea salt and simmer over low heat at a bubble partially covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Bake bacon on a broiler pan until crisp. Lower heat to 275°F.
Pound chicken cutlets very thin, 1/8 inch. Season with salt and pepper. Set up three shallow bowls: one with the flour, one with the eggs and another with the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Coat chicken in flour, shaking off any excess then turn them in the egg and then finally in breadcrumbs. Fry in shallow oil over medium to medium- high heat until deeply golden. Keep cutlets warm in the oven on a rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with thyme, lemon zest, half-n-half or milk, EVOO, salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven and place rack at center of oven then switch on broiler.
Broil rolls to toasty golden brown and remove. Leave bun tops out. Arrange chicken on roll bottoms in this order: cutlet, sauce, cutlet, sauce, 2 slices mozzarella cheese. Broil until mozzarella is brown and bubbly. Top with bacon, lettuce, tomato. Slather bun top with ricotta spread and set into place.