I wanted to make chicken parmigiana (a chicken and pasta dish with Parmesan cheese) but couldn’t find some decent Parmesan cheese in the supermarket. What I found was Edam cheese (quezo de bola to Filipinos). I’m not really a fan of Edam cheese but, when melted, it tastes good. I used the gluten-free pasta from the previous entry to make this dish.
- 200 to 250 g. of pasta, cooked according to package directions (I used the rice and corn pasta shown in the previous entry but you can use any pasta)
4 large chicken thighs (use breast if you prefer white meat)
salt and pepper
2 tbsps. of flour
4 tbsps. of olive oil (doesn’t have to be extra virgin)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
white wine, about a cup
about 2 cups of diced tomatoes (I used canned diced tomatoes as I didn’t have enough fresh tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. of dried oregano (twice as much if using fresh)
more salt and pepper
about 1 tbsp. of sugar
100 g. of Edam cheese, grated (you can try some other kind of cheese but, of course, every cheese variety tastes different)
about 12 sweet basil leaves, finely sliced (optional but recommended)
- Heat about four tablespoons of olive oil.
Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Fry in the hot oil until lightly browned on all sides. With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate.
In the remaining oil, add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring often, until they start to soften.
Pour in about a cup of white wine. Boil the mixture — uncovered — until the white wine is reduced to half.
Add the diced tomatoes and all the juice.
Add the oregano, salt, pepper and some sugar. Don’t worry about the balance of flavors at this point because you will adjust all of that later.
Return the chicken to the pot and stir lightly. Boil over medium heat, uncovered, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
When the sauce is done, taste and adjust the seasonings. Then, scoop out the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss well.
Divide the pasta among individual pasta bowls. Top each with a chicken thigh. Smother with grated cheese.
Melt and lightly scorch the cheese either by 1) putting the dish under a very hot broiler (make sure you’re using heat proof bowls) or 2) using a kitchen torch. Trust me, browning the cheese makes a lot of difference both in texture and in taste.
Finally, sprinkle some finely sliced sweet basil leaves, if using. Serve hot.
Cooking time (duration): 40 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 4