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Neapolitan Chicken Gravy With Pasta & Fresh Tomato Sauce

Oh lovely readers do I have a treat for you. My wonderful, naturally-talented-in-the-kitchen husband cooked this dish for our family and I asked, begged him to do a guest post. So without further ado, here is my husband, Matthew Fiorello:

Rumor has it Great Grandma Fiorello in Benevento, Italy was one of the most popular cooks in the village. This signature recipe was also her most basic: sautéed sliced chicken breast, pasta and fresh tomato sauce. Sounds easy enough and for the most part it is. However, there’s a secret, slightly unorthodox step in the cooking process that makes each of the flavors literally burst in your mouth. So if you’re willing to give this a shot once or twice, I guarantee you, this pasta dish will become one of the biggest hits in your house. Find out how after the jump…


  • Coring The Tomato 1 of 20
    Coring The Tomato
    Hothouse, plum, any ripe tomato will do. Remove the core.
  • Slice Tomato In Half 2 of 20
    Slice Tomato In Half
    Slice the tomato in half on the horizontal.
  • Remove Seeds With Spoon 3 of 20
    Remove Seeds With Spoon
    The key to this is having some tomato juice left over so don't sweat it if some seeds survive this step.
  • Chopping Tomatoes 4 of 20
    Chopping Tomatoes
    Chop tomatoes into 1/4" cubes. Try to make sure they're all close to the same size so they all cook at the same rate.
  • Adding Tomatoes To The Saute Pan 5 of 20
    Adding Tomatoes To The Saute Pan
    Drizzle the saute pan with olive oil, toss in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cutting Chicken 6 of 20
    Cutting Chicken
    Cut two skinless, boneless chicken breasts in half and then slice them so you have 1" x 1/2" chicken strips.
  • Season To Flavor 7 of 20
    Season To Flavor
    Throughout the process of sautéing the tomatoes add pepper and salt for flavor.
  • Seasoning The Chicken 8 of 20
    Seasoning The Chicken
    Sprinkle salt, pepper, dried oregano and basil on both sides of the chicken.
  • Browning The Chicken 9 of 20
    Browning The Chicken
    As soon as you've seasoned the chicken strips brown them in a second skillet or saute pan on both sides.
  • Separate Tomato Juice 10 of 20
    Separate Tomato Juice
    While the chicken strips are browning, pour the tomatoes into a collinder and drain all the juice into a bowl.
  • Tomato Juice 11 of 20
    Tomato Juice
    You should have at least one, if not two cups of tomato juice in the bowl. If you don't think you have enough add a a little tomato juice or chicken broth to create more liquid.
  • Adding The Tomato Sauce 12 of 20
    Adding The Tomato Sauce
    Pour the juice from the tomato into the chicken and turn the burner up to medium. Let the chicken simmer in the tomato juice. This will be our gravy and needs to be separate from our tomato sauce.
  • Season Tomato Sauce 13 of 20
    Season Tomato Sauce
    Continue to season with salt and pepper for flavor. If you want to add a tablespoon of butter or more olive oil you can do that as well. The best tomato sauces throughout southern Italy have a pinkish color like this.
  • Chopped Garlic 14 of 20
    Chopped Garlic
    Add a teaspoon of garlic to the tomatoes and mix it in.
  • Fresh Basil 15 of 20
    Fresh Basil
    After you wash and chop the fresh basil add it to the tomatoes (but not the chicken). We are creating two separate flavors that will combine later to create an explosive, savory taste.
  • Cutting The Basil 16 of 20
    Cutting The Basil
    Stack the basil leaves, roll stem up and cut in this slices.
  • Adding Fresh Basil To Tomatoes 17 of 20
    Adding Fresh Basil To Tomatoes
    Only add the fresh basil to the tomato sauce to give the basil time to release the flavor.
  • Chicken Gravy and Tomato Sauce Separated 18 of 20
    Chicken Gravy and Tomato Sauce Separated
    In this shot you can see the different flavors cooking.
  • Fresh Basil and Italian Parsley 19 of 20
    Fresh Basil and Italian Parsley
    Just before you take the chicken off the stove add some fresh basil and Italian parsley as a garnish.
  • Dishing Up 20 of 20
    Dishing Up
    Place the tomato sauce on top of the pasta and the chicken on the side. You can pour extra gravy over the chicken and pasta to make it more savory.

Neapolitan Chicken Gravy With Pasta & Fresh Tomato Sauce

Fresh Tomato Sauce:

6 large tomatoes cored, seeded and chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

dried oregano – about 1 teaspoon

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and heat over medium, add the tomatoes salt and pepper and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until soft and juicy (start the chicken right now). Drain the juices into a bowl.  Continue to simmer and add the butter, season with salt and pepper and fresh basil. Allow to simmer while the rest of the meal is cooking.

Chicken Gravy:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes

dried oregano

salt and pepper

tomato juice

fresh basil

fresh Italian parsly

olive oil

Drizzle olive oil into skillet and heat over medium. Season chicken on all sides with salt, pepper and dried oregano. (start a pot of water for the pasta) Brown the chicken, then add the juice from the tomatoes and cook until chicken is done. When the chicken is done add fresh basil and parsley as garnish.

Drain the pasta, do not rinse (the sauce will not stick to your pasta if you since it!). Place a serving of pasta into a bowl and top with fresh tomato sauce and place chicken on one side. Cover with the gravy from the chicken skillet. Add some parmesan and chow down!

Read more great recipes from Macki on Cooking With My Kid!

Follow Macki on Twitter for updates!

More on Family Kitchen:

The best ever travel snacks.

See all Macki’s recipes on Family Kitchen

 

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