One of my favorite restaurants is Ocean Club in Destin, FL. I love the food and atmosphere. It is a lot of fun. They usually have live music when we are there. One of our most memorable evenings was when they had a guy playing the piano, and he busted out with music from Phantom of the Opera and wore the mask – that is hard core!
Ocean Club is mainly a seafood place, but, as every good seafood place does, it has at least one chicken dish. The chicken at Ocean Club is one of my favorites. It is a pan seared parmesan chicken breast served with a tomato caper sauce. I love it! This is the dish that introduced me to capers.
With no trip to the beach planned in the near future, I decided to recreate this dish at home. I made a tomato sauce from scratch, but I think a doctored up jar of sauce would work just as well. It turned out great! It might have been better than the original. It was certainly cheaper than a trip to the beach and I didn’t have to worry about getting sunburned!!
Parmesan Chicken with Tomato Caper Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
6 oz tomato paste
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
11/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup capers, drained
1 pound pasta, cooked and drained
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (or use cutlets)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup flour
Salt and pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
For the sauce:
Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Add shallot and cook until it softens. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds – 1 minute). Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken breast halves horizontally, butterflying them open.
Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Rinse the chicken pieces in water. Dredge them thoroughly in the flour mixture, until well coated.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add half of the chicken pieces, do not crowd the pan. Brown well on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve to a plate. Cook the other breasts in the same manner, remove from pan. Serve over pasta and tomato caper sauce.