Chicken Bake With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Sauces. This is the stuff that separates the men from the boys.... the women from the girls. All you need is a few in your repertoire and people will think you are ingenious. This is one that is both simple and versatile. We do it a lot in the restaurant. It can be drizzled on chicken, pork or seafood. It holds up well in the freezer, too. For this recipe, you will need:

1/4 cup      olive oil
6 ea.        fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 cloves     fresh garlic, chopped
1 cup        sliced mushrooms
3 TB         fresh basil
8 oz.        tomato puree
4 oz.        water
to taste     salt and pepper

In a saucepan, heat up the olive oil. Saute the garlic for one minute. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, water and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer one hour. Take the entire mixture and toss in the blender. Blend on high for two minutes.

Try this sauce with some fried chicken. To cook the chicken pieces, dust them with flour, then dip into a raw egg. Roll in some crushed bread crumbs. Saute the chicken pieces in a little oil until browned on both sides. Top with a piece of ham and a little provolone cheese. Ladle the sauce over this and voila---as always, a creative cook is a good cook.