Friday, January 1, 2010

Carmine's Chicken Alla Romana -Best Recipe of 2009

Yesterday I declared Carmine's Chicken Alla Romano my very favorite recipe in 2009. It is definitely packed with flavor, especially if everything is made from scratch. There are a few recipes you need in order to make it, and they are listed below. It is a time consuming recipe, but is well worth the effort and results. In fact, I think I might make it today!

Listed below are the recipes you will need for the Chicken Alla Romana. You may want to prepare all but the spinach ahead of time to make the recipe easier.
Carmine's Breadcrumbs:
6 slices white bread, with crusts torn into large pieces (or 1-1/2 - 2 cups of breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
**Makes about 3 cups of breadcrumbs

Pulse bread in a food processor fitted with a metal blade (I use my blender), process the bread until it is coarsely ground. Add the cheese, garlic, parsley and oregano and pulse the mixture until the breadcrumbs are finely ground. Season the breadcrumbs to taste with salt and pepper and pulse the mixture just to mix in the seasonings. Use the breadcrumbs immediately or refrigerate them in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.

Roasted Red Peppers:
4 large red bell peppers
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Char the peppers over a grill or gas flame or under a broiler until they are blackened on all sides (If broiling, place aluminum foil under the peppers or you will have a giant mess on your pan). Put the peppers in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and set it aside for about 45 minutes so that the peppers cool. Peel the skins off the peppers; they will slide right off with your fingertips. If you need to, scrape stubborn patches off with a small knife. It is not necessary to get every fleck of charred skin off the peppers.

Cut the peppers lengthwise through one side. Discard the stems, seeds, and ribs. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels. Spread the peppers open on a work surface. Season them lightly with salt and pepper. Rub the chopped garlic into both sides of the peppers. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and then sprinkle the basil and parsley over them. Stack the peppers on top of each other on a dish. Drizzle them with any remaining oil. Cover the dish and refrigerate the peppers overnight or for up to 4 days.

Spinach in Garlic and Oil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
2 pounds fresh spinach, stems removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for about 1 minute or until it is golden brown. Take care not to let the garlic burn. Add the spinach and, using a large fork to toss it in the oil, saute it for 2 to 3 minutes or until it starts to wilt. Cover the pan and cook it for 30 seconds. Remove the cover, stir the spinach, and season it to taste with salt and pepper. Stir it again. Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and serve it with the lemon halves as a garnish.
Chicken Alla Romana
5 large red potatoes, cut in half
1 Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
3 cups Carmine's Breadcrumbs (recipe provided above)
Five 2-ounce chicken cutlets
1/4 cup Dry White Wine (I use Marsala)
1-1/2 cups Chicken Stock (Carmine's has their own recipe here, but you can use your own)
1-1/2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons unslated butter
2 tablespoons chopped Roasted Red Peppers (recipe provided above)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Recipe Spinach in Garlic and Oil (recipe provided above)
3 to 4 slices Fresh Mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix together the potatoes, onions, grated cheese, melted butter, rosemary, oregano, and parsley. Season the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Transfer them to a baking sheet and roast them for about 1-1/4 hours or until they are tender. Stir them occasionally during roasting. Set them aside. (They are the most delicious roasted potatoes on the planet).

Spread the flour on a large plate. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet. One at a time, coat the chicken cutlets with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip them in the egg mixture and let any excess drip off. Coat them with breadcrumbs. Set them aside on a plate. (A great tip is to put the coated chicken back in the fridge for at least 10 minutes so that the coating dries out and ensures a crispier crust).

**Carmine's left out the part of the recipe where I assume they saute the chicken. I put some olive oil in a saute pan and sauteed the chicken until it was cooked through**

In a medium-sized saute pan, bring the wine to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook it for about 1 minute or until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and capers. Bring it to a boil and cook it for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk in 3 tablespoons of the butter. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the red peppers and the remaining tablespoon of the butter. Add the lemon juice and season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Keep it warm.

Place the sauteed/breaded chicken and roasted potatoes in a shallow baking pan. Spread the spinach in the bottom of another baking pan. Roast both pans for about 2 minutes or until the food is hot. Cover the chicken with the mozzarella and return the pan to the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Spread the spinach down the center of a large platter. Put the chicken on top of the spinach. Scatter the potatoes around the chicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.



  1. This is a real beauty! I need to try this one. Can I come over for dinner daaaaaahling? I'm hungry.
    *kisses* HH

  2. I understand why That dish is your favorite! Sounds wonderful......Happy new year, Kim!

  3. Yes - quite a few steps - but judging from the final outcome, I'd say each one was well worth the time and effort. I need to make this - and soon!

    Happy New Year!

  4. That sounds Wonderful, and it's so pretty too! :)

  5. Damn! That does seem to take the award for the best. Looks fabulous Kim!

  6. I WILL try this one. I've drooled over it any number of times in my copy of Carmine's. I need to wait until I've taken off another 5 lbs before I dust off that cookbook. I can picture this with some of that great garlic butter on a loaf of semolina bread. And, of course, a big glass of Sangiovese. Oh, Lord, I want it now!

  7. I am SO hungry and this is just not helping! Looks amazing

  8. Sounds a lot like Wolfgang Puck's Live Love Eat. Most recipes include two or three other "prep" recipes. It is worth it in the end, but dang it's a lot of work!

  9. Yummmm! I remember you posting about this And I keep forgetting to add it to my I'm going to go do that right now after I post this comment :)

  10. It looks delicious and certainly worth all the steps and ingredients! ;-)

  11. You need to come to NY so we can go to the real Carmine's. I think you would love it!

    I can't believe you managed to pick a Best of the Year recipe...I would never be able to choose! This looks absolutely delicious though. It has been bumped up to me need-to-try-immediately list.

  12. It's on my wishlist, this looks totally delish!

  13. What a wonderful looking chicken dish! I have to give this a try. Happy New Year.

  14. I'm totally drooling! I'm bookmarking this page right now!

  15. This looks and sounds so damn delicious I just gotta try it! Ive enjoyed all your posts about the favorites. :)

  16. Hearty and satisfying ... we all need more meals like that in 2010! Happy New Year :)

  17. This does look delish...the bread crumbs, alone!! Your stellar reviews of this book are making me want to go find it. Soon! YUM :)

  18. This is incredible - well-chosen. I am going to have to try it. With all the chicken I eat, I need some new recipes.

  19. I've eaten this at Carmines in NYC...and yes I think it was my favorite food of 2009, maybe of all time!

  20. Just had this at Carmines in NYC..their regular Friday night special..and it is absolutely delicious!!! I have it every time I'm there on a Friday, along with the artichoke appetizer which is also a must have..going back on June 15th and having it again for sure!!

  21. Hi, Kim - I am planning to do a Carmine's themed dinner party and was looking at the Chicken Alla Romana recipe. It sounds delicious but I kept reviewing the recipe to determine when the chicken would get cooked. I am happy to have found your post to confirm that they left out the part about pan frying it first. Can't wait to try it. Thank you!

  22. I had this dish at Carmine's in AC last night and it was one of the best meals I have ever had.


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