Just a disclaimer, this dish is not an authentic Italian dish as I don’t have any background with Italian cooking and I’m 100% Filipino. I just called this dish as Italian Style Fried Chicken and Steamed Rice as it was inspired from Restorante Bigoli’s dish Italian Chicken and Italian Rice.
My first encounter with Italian chicken and Italian rice was with my officemate when we had our meeting with our bio-statistician at Restorante Bigoli. Though I’m a frequent Bigoli customer at their Eastwood branch, I have not yet tried their chicken dish as I usually order for their pasta and pizza dishes. Their Italian chicken is coated with, I think, their spaghetti sauce. Its crispy and tasty, though I find it a bit on the saltier side. But the overall experience is great.
I woke up at around 12 in the afternoon yesterday. Yes, 12 o’clock. My office mates, ex-office mate and soon to be ex-office mate had our night at Eastwood. Since none of us has a car, so we decided to commute our way to Eastwood. From our office, we took and MRT and went off to Cubao Station. We initially decided to take a jeep or an fx but then, we finally decided to take a cab. Then we wait and after an hour and a half of waiting with lots of walking finding for a good spot to wait a cab, we finally got one. The cab here in the Philippines are so choosy or sometimes, they will ask you to add additional Php50.00 aside from the plug down rate. The hell with them.
Anyway, we reached our destination at around 9:30 in the evening and the crowd is starting to flock the place. We had our dinner at a seafood restaurant with the meals served a la boodle fight style. Three variants or rice (java, bagoong and fried) were place at the center with the entree circling the rice. Speaking of which, I find it really expensive, priced at around Php1,500.00 good for 5-6 people for a quarter of a chicken, 10 pieces of shrimp, 5 sticks of barbecue, 6 pieces of clamp (with one meat missing), sour coconut milk – jackfruit dish which I don’t know what, a single serving of shrimp and pomelo salad, a small fillet of tuna, a small piece of squid and some vegetables like eggplant, seaweeds and tomatoes. Its like a plate less type of dining where everything is served in a big wooden plank covered with some banana leaves. You can either it with your clean bare hand or spoon and fork.
After we were done with our dinner, we are off to Rou Bourbon just to taste their caramel beer. The place was so full of customers and theirs a queue of people waiting to get inside. We ask for a reservation and we were told that we were 5th in line. Knowing that those kind of place would take sometime and even an hour to get your table, we decided to have our seat at Coffee Bean while waiting for our number to be called.
We bought a slice of cheesecake to share for everyone and we fell in love with their cheesecake as its so firm and creamy with the base so thin and soft. Their cheesecake has a hint of orange and maybe they used orange juice instead of the usual lemon juice (now its cheesecake project time). With our number not yet being called, I went to this small stall of Belgian Waffle and grab a cream cheese waffle for Php45.00. Its okay but I don’t actually like it. I just find it a not too appealing to my taste.
After with some food trip, we went back to Rou Bourbon and waited for another 20 to 30 minutes and we got our table. Since we are their to just actually taste their caramel beer, we ordered three big ass caramel beer, one each for the men and the four girls just actually shared with one big ass. The big ass is the sized of one liter beer. We also ordered cajun fries to go with our beer. The verdict, the beer actually has an aftertaste of caramel and its pleasant to drink. However, if you are looking for a hardcore alcohol spree, this is not for you as the alcohol level, in my opinion, is already diluted. Still, it taste good that even my girl friend who does not drink became caramel beer-greedy woman. For the cajun fries, its really good and tasty but the serving is small for the price of Php160.00, about a one large potato cut into big fries.
Then, after our Rou Bourbon experience we spent the rest of the nigh (or day) at a coffee shop. We part our ways around 5 o’clock in the morning. We initially planned to stay until 7 o’clock and have our breakfast their but its impossible for us as our eyes are starting to shutdown. Luckily, I’m just 20 minutes away from Eastwood and got myself on my bed early.
When I woke up, I felt not in the mood to eat lunch and just started to do my usual Saturday activity, the laundry. While the clothes are spinning in the washing machine, I went to the fridge and took out some chicken breast fillet and marinated it in herbs and spices after thawing. I just chopped some black olives, canned mushrooms and parsley and tossed it in the steamed rice just after the rice boiled and waited until the rice cooks. I opened a can of stewed tomatoes and heat it until the water evaporated and add some honey and salt to taste. I dip the chicken fillet in cornstarch and egg and deep fry until golden brown and served it with the tomato sauce and rice and voila, Italian Style Fried Chicken Breast and Steamed Rice for late lunch.
1/2 kilo Chicken Breast Fillet
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 teaspoon Celery Powder
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, more if you like more kick
2 cups Cornstarch
2 pieces Eggs, slightly beaten
1 can Stewed Tomato
3 teaspoons Honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups Rice
1 1/2 cups Water (water may depends on the type of rice)
1/4 cup Black Olives, chopped
1/4 cup Chopped Canned Mushrooms
1/4 cup Chopped Parsley
Pat dry the chicken breast. Season with paprika, celery powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Marinate for and hour or more. Dip the chicken into the cornstarch, then into the egg and into the cornstarch again. Remove excess starch and deep fried in hot oil. Do not fry the chicken so long at it will dry out. Place on a plate covered with tissue to remove excess oil.
Place stewed tomato in a sauce pan and simmer until all the liquid evaporates and you were left with the tomato puree. Add honey and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can top the chicken with the tomato sauce or tossed the chicken into the tomato sauce to cover the whole fillet.
Cook rice according to package direction. When the rice started to boil, add the olives and mushrooms and mix until well incorporated into the rice. About 5 minutes before the rice is done, add the parsley and mix. Continue cooking until the rice is done.
Served the Italian style fried chicken with the steamed rice and sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on to the chicken.