Drunken Chipotle Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Chipotle chicken parm

We have our fair share of Italian restaurants in our area, and chicken parmesan is on just about every menu. While the dish can be greasier at some restaurants than others, once you've had the dish at one restaurant, you've pretty much had it everywhere else; meaning there is pretty much no variation when it comes to chicken parmesan, except for of course swapping out the chicken for eggplant. Because of this, I don't typically make chicken parm at home. However, when I saw an actual variation for a chicken parm recipe that made it slightly spicier and included beer, I was sold. I couldn't wait to give these sandwiches a try. They took a little while to come together, but once they were done, they had a flavor unto themselves. We were hooked! The breaded chicken was perfectly flavored and the sauce had a bit of a kick to it. We ended up with some sauce leftover, which will be great for pasta tossed with vegetables later in the week, or frozen for another meal.

1/2 Vidalia Onion, chopped
5 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
3 pounds  Tomatoes (I used 2 pounds of heirloom)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup IPA (I used a pale ale)
1/4 cup Tomato Paste
1 large Chipotle Pepper (from a can of chipotle in adobo…I used 2)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
5 Basil Leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh Oregano, chopped (2 sprigs)
2 Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper 
2 Eggs
1 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated or shredded
1 cup Flour
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Italian Sandwich Rolls
1 ball Fresh Mozzarella, cut into slices

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the skins start to peel, about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the beer and the tomato paste and allow to simmer until most of the tomatoes have broken down, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large food processor or a blender, along with the chipotle pepper, basil, salt, paprika, and oregano; process until smooth. Taste the sauce and add additional chipotle peppers if desired (the more you add, the spicier the sauce will be). If the sauce is too watery, return it to the stove and simmer until it has reduced and thickened to your desired consistency. The sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance, stored in sealed containers in the refrigerator.

Slice the chicken breasts in half, creating 2 filets from each breast. Pound the chicken to an even thickness using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or heavy frying pan and pat it dry. Place the eggs in a bowl and beat well. In a separate bowl, place the flour. In a third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip the chicken in the egg bowl, turning to coat; finally, dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. Fry the chicken in the hot oil until golden brown on the underside, about 3 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking until the chicken has cooked through (this is where my chicken started to burn, so I finished cooking it in a 375 degree oven on a baking rack over a cookie sheet) Slice the rolls in half and place them on a baking sheet. Spoon generous amounts of the sauce onto the rolls. Cut the cooked chicken filets in half, lengthwise, so that they will fit on the roll. Top the chicken with a slice of mozzarella and sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Place the open-face sandwiches under a broiler for 30 seconds, or until the cheese is melted and slightly golden. Top the sandwich with additional sauce and the other half of the roll and serve. 

SOURCE: The Beeroness