Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Three glorious chicken breasts were just begging to be cooked, and who am I to turn them down? The fam was due for Chicken Parmesan and last night was the night. This recipe is far easier than it looks and always gets delicious reviews. I simply must share its simplicity for you to replicate.

3 chicken breasts, pounded flat
1 c. store bought seasoned breadcrumbs
1 c. homemade breadcrumbs
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1 jar of pasta sauce
1/2 box angel hair pasta
1 stick of butter
several tablespoons of olive oil

First, confession: I'm in love with my meat mallet. I asked for a meat mallet for Christmas many years ago and a girlfriend got it for me as a joke. Little did she realize how much I would go on to use this beauty. It's the perfect stress reliever after a long day. I put each chicken breast in a large ziploc bag and began pounding to my hearts content. It was wonderful! After I had 3 flat chicken boobs, the magic begins. (Note: I would've taken more pictures than the final version, but the kids were chasing the dog to torture with a Fisher Price Dump Truck, so something had to give!)

Store bought breadcrumbs are such a let down to me. The texture is more like sand than crumbs, yet the seasoned version saves you the time and effort of making them completely from scratch. So I beefed up the store bought crumbs with a cup of my own fresh made crumbs that I had frozen awhile back and 1/2 a cup of parmesan cheese for a delicious breading.

Now I have chicken and breading...but how do I make it into Chicken Parmesan? Easy! Take two bowls - melt a stick of butter in one bowl and place your breading in another. Have a skillet heated and ready on the stove with several tablespoons of olive oil. From here, it's basically an assembly line. One chicken breast gets dipped into the butter on both sides, then makes a giant leap into the breading for a nice coating and then sizzles and sears for several minutes on each side in the skillet until the outside is cooked to golden brown and the inside is raw. What?!

I then transfer the chicken to a pyrex dish and pop it into the oven to finish baking for about 20 minutes at 350. While this is happening, I cook angel hair pasta and open a jar (shhh! store bought!) of my favorite pasta sauce and heat it in a sauce pan. Oh the multi-taskers delight! So much going on, yet SO easy.

Next, your husband walks in the door..."What is this amazing smell?!" he asks. You then give him a demure smile and let him know that it's Chicken Parmesan and you both do a happy dance (ok, not really, but my tastebuds certainly do!).

As he is hugging the kids after a long day at the office, you are plating a delicious serving of angel hair pasta, topped with the sauce and then a chicken breast and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. (If you want bread, feel free to add to your meal, but I'm on carb overload from my Artisan Bread experience earlier this week and my waistline and hips needed a reprieve).

The crowd goes wild and you breath a contented sigh for a delicious meal that took you 25 minutes to prepare from start to finish (beating Rachel Ray by 5) that would've otherwise cost you $15 at a restaurant per serving and is instead, about $3 (Beating Melissa D'Arabian by $1-2).

That's Amore!

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