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America's Test Kitchen 7x14

Even More Italian Classics

Just when we think we’ve become familiar with every Italian dish under the sun, we’re pleasantly surprised to come across a dish we’d somehow overlooked. Join us as we resurrect one Italian classic and streamline another.

Take chicken francese. It’s true that this Italian-style chicken cutlet dish isn’t as well known as chicken parmigiana or chicken Marsala, but it’s no less delicious. Coated with a thin eggy crust, the cutlets are served in a light, lemony white wine sauce. With just a few simple elements, it’s hard to believe that such dish can go wrong, but versions we tried proved otherwise. In some recipes, the egg crust was unappetizingly thick and tough, or turned soggy once coated with the sauce. The sauces we tried weren’t much better. While we couldn’t detect lemon in some, others made us pucker, or the wine was too overpowering, giving the sauce an unpleasant boozy flavor. We aimed to conquer these issues and turn out a lemony cutlet dish that we’d want to incorporate into our Italian classics repertoire to make again and again. Another Italian classic, the rich tomato sauce marinara, is not a new discovery, but it’s one worth a second look in terms of simplifying. The hallmark of this sauce is a depth of flavor achieved by hours of cooking, but what if we didn’t have all day? After all, for the modern cook, an all-day marinara, just isn’t a reasonable option. We set out to create an authentic marinara with complex flavors without the hours of work involved.

Recipes:

Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese with Tomato and Tarragon

Marinara Sauce

Tasting Lab: Sleuthing Canned Whole Tomatoes

Equipment Center: Hand (Immersion) Blenders—Updated

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×14
Apr. 07, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7