The NoMad restaurant in NYC introduced their riff on this Italian-American classic at their pop-up restaurant Mamma Giudara's, which was inspired by Mamma Leone's, a favorite restaurant of Rachael's.
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 sprigs basil
- 3 springs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 whole bone-in, skin-on chickens, (about 4 ½ pounds each)
- 10 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs, unseasoned
- 2 pieces breaded chicken
- 1/2 cup Bechamel Sauce
- 1 cup Marinara Sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 2 cups grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
For the marinara sauce, heat the oil in a large pot over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely tender, about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and bring to a simmer. Using butcher’s twine, tie the basil, thyme, and bay leaf into a sachet and add to the tomatoes. Cook the sauce over very low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until reduced by half, about 6 hours. Remove and discard the herb bundle and grind the sauce through the small holes of a food mill. Season with salt. Keep warm.
For the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour is cooked out but the mixture hasn’t browned, about 5 minutes. While cooking the flour, combine the milk, garlic, and thyme in a separate saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. When the flour is cooked out, add the simmering milk and whisk continuously until mixture returns to a simmer. Strain the sauce through a chinois and season with salt. Keep warm.
For the breaded chicken, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, dried oregano, kosher salt, cayenne and pepper. Cut off and remove the legs and thighs from the chickens and remove for another use. Cut the breasts from the rib cage of each chicken, keeping them attached by the skin. Place each chicken breast pair between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound thin with a mallet. Place the flour mixture, eggs, and breadcrumbs each in separate bowls to make a breading station. Place each pounded chicken piece first in the flour mixture, making sure to coat thoroughly and evenly. Shake off any excess flour and submerge in the beaten eggs. Transfer each chicken piece to the breadcrumbs and coat thoroughly and evenly.
To finish, preheat a fryer to 350°F. Preheat a convection oven to 420°F, high fan. Fry each chicken piece in the fryer, flipping once to keep the chicken flat, until golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes. Place both fried chicken pieces on a parchment-lined baking sheet, side by side. Spread the béchamel on the chicken in a thin even layer. Spoon the marinara over the béchamel and spread evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella and parmesan over the marinara evenly. Bake the chicken in the oven until melted and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer one to each plate. Garnish with the sliced basil. Each chicken piece serves two people.