December 1, 2010

Chicken Parm

Chicken Parmesan is actually one of the few "real" meals I made for myself in college, and I basically made the chicken to go along with the pasta I had every night.  Made much easier by the fact that the red sauce I used comes homemade from my mom (reminder to self - I need to steal more) and is so good.  All I have to do is thaw it out!  It's just a roasted tomato sauce with garlic, nothing too fancy.  Summer in a sauce.  Someday she will probably force me to make it on my own, but until then, I will be stealing it from her freezer.  I used to refuse to eat pasta sauce, it's actually listed as my pet peeve in my high school senior yearbook.  I was insane.

Chicken Parmesan
4-6 chicken breasts
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Panko Bread crumbs
2 eggs
Olive oil

First, flatten the chicken breasts using a mallet until they are about 1/2-3/4" thick.  I think it's easiest to do this with wax paper or saran wrap layers to make the clean-up a little easier.  Prepare three bowls for the dredging process.  Fill the first with flour mixed with salt and pepper, the second with the eggs whisked with a splash of water, and in the third, put the panko bread crumbs.  They make the best crispy fried goodness on the chicken breasts.  Dredge each breast through the three bowls and cook in a skillet with olive oil until the outside is nice and brown and the inside is cooked.  And here is my weird cooking method - place the chicken breasts on a cooling rack placed in a cookie sheet.  And to make cleanup MUCH easier, I would recommend lining the cookie sheet with foil and spray the cooling rack with cooking spray.  Cover each chicken breasts with slices of cheese and stick under the broiler until the cheese has melted and begun to brown.  Serve with spaghetti and your favorite red sauce.

I used to bake the chicken breasts in the sauce after frying them, but you loose all the crispiness!  So that's where the cooling rack/cookie sheet combo comes into play.  And making this dinner uses a lot of dishes, but they are all in stages.  As long as you clean as you go (or have a sous chef named Stud clean for you), then it's not nearly as daunting.  And it's delicious leftover!

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