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Emigrated from America to New Zealand and never looked back. Couldn't have asked for a better husband, family & life!

One comfort from home that I miss occasionally is The Olive Garden. I have fond memories of high school dates, family birthdays, college graduation, and my first dinner date with my hubby at this establishment. I think my two favourites were usually the Chicken Marsala and the Chicken Parmigiana, so I thought I would certainly have to add these to my recipe list at some stage…so here’s the first of the two.

Here in Kiwiland, there aren’t too many convenient choices in canned or jarred sauces…not good ones anyway, unless you venture out to the
Mediterranean Food Warehouse in Newtown. For me, it’s just as easy to make a lovely marinara of my own from fresh ingredients here in our own backyard (so to speak). No, we haven’t any new veggies in the garden ready for harvest (only herbs at present), but we will get there in the end. :o)

So, without further adieu…


1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Brown Onion, finely diced
3 Cloves Crushed Garlic
1 Tsp Celery Salt
1 Medium Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper), finely diced
4-6 Tomatoes, diced
2 Bay Leaves
1-2 Tbsp Basil, fresh & finely chopped
2 Tsp Oregano, fresh & finely chopped
1 Tsp Thyme, dried is okay
1 Tbsp Coriander, fresh & finely chopped
1 Cup V8 Vegetable Juice
1 Tsp (more or less) Tabasco Sauce
½ Cup Red Wine
*Freshly Ground Black Pepper

*Amounts vary to individual tastes


In a med-large pot, heat oil and add onions cooking until they begin to soften.

Now add the finely diced capsicum and garlic and cook for another minute or two until the pepper begins to go soft as well – don’t burn the garlic!

Next, add in the tomatoes, bay leaves, herbs, and vegetable juice and simmer for 10-15 minutes before adding in the Tabasco and the wine.

Allow this to simmer on a med-low heat for at least 20-30 minutes whilst you prepare the chicken and when ready to serve it, add the black pepper.


4 Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless
*Garlic Salt & Pepper
½ Cup Flour
¾ Cup Parmiggiano Reggiano, finely grated & divided
½ Cup Breadcrumbs
2 Eggs
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


First, you need to tenderize the chicken by cutting each breast in half (they will basically double in size when pounded) and place the chicken between sheets of baking paper to tenderize and flatten by pounding with a kitchen mallet or similar heavy instrument (I have used an A-1 Steak Sauce bottle because it’s flat edge it perfect, but be careful not to pound too hard if using a glass bottle). You need to flatten the pieces to about a half centimetre (5-6 mm) thickness.

Now season both sides with garlic salt and pepper.

You will now need to clear a space to put the chicken as you dredge and coat them, so lay out a large sheet of baking paper or a wire rack.

Next, in a small bowl you need to beat the eggs for the coating ‘glue’.

In separate shallow dishes, add the flour to one and mix the breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese in the other.

Working now with one piece at a time, dredge the chicken in flour first, shaking off any excess, then quickly coat in beaten egg, moving quickly into the breadcrumb and shredded Parmesan mixture, pressing firmly so that the coating is secure and set aside.

Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

When the oil is hot, begin frying half of the chicken pieces about 2-3 minutes each side or until both sides are golden brown and crispy and juices run clear and there are no signs of pinkness remaining if chicken is cut open.

Transfer chicken to a baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

Now add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and cook remaining chicken pieces.

Once all of the chicken is done, top it with the sauce and the remaining cheese. You can serve immediately or brown the cheese under a grill/broiler on high for about 3-4 minutes.

I like to add a bit of provolone and mozzarella when I brown the top, but this time it was already getting late and I wanted to feed my family quickly.

Not much better than this! And…the leftovers are great wrapped in Naan Bread with salad greens!!! YUM!!!

1 Thoughts & Remarks:

Cheryl said...

Looks Delish!