Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Always tender and flavorful, this is a family favorite. If you just want the straight recipe, here it is. Scroll down for a picture tutorial and a bunch of unnecessary but amusing comments.

This recipe serves 6

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Olive oil

2 cups spaghetti sauce
Additional Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise to form two thin pieces of meat. Pour milk into a shallow pan. In a second shallow pan, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet on high.

Dredge the chicken in milk, then in the breadcrumb mixture, coating well. Place in the skillet and allow to cook about 1 minute per side, or until nicely browned. Place in an oven safe dish. Repeat for each piece of meat.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until juices run clear. Top with a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce and extra Parmesan. Serve with pasta and salad.

And now for some pictures... 

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise, like so:

In most Parmesan chicken recipes, you beat the breasts thin. As much fun as that sounds, this gives me more servings for my dollar. Next, pour some milk into a shallow pan (I use a plate.) Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and spices in another shallow pan (or another, bigger plate). Like so:

Really, I should be using homemade bread crumbs, but we just moved and I don't have any. If you want to make your own breadcrumbs, start freezing those loaf heels and I'll get a tutorial up soon. Not that it's hard, mind you. It's super easy and then you can impress all your friends when you casually mention that you make your own bread crumbs. 

I also prefer deli Parmesan. It's a little more expensive, but not much, and it's preservative-free.

Now pour about 1/4 inch of olive oil (or other cooking oil) in a skillet and turn the heat on to high. Let it heat up a minute.

Dredge your chicken in the milk, like so:

And then in the breadcrumb mixture, like so:

Be sure the chicken is well coated. Put it in the pan.

 Sorry for the fuzzy photo. That oil is hot, and I'm a little paranoid about my iPhone after the drowning the last one got, so I was being quick. Allow the meat to cook about a minute, or until nicely browned. Then flip it.

Allow to cook another minute or so, then transfer to a baking dish. If you're in a hurry, you can get two pans going and cook them up in half the time. Today I wasn't in a hurry, and I'll do just about anything to cut down on dishes, so one pan was all I used.

Here are my chickens, all ready for the oven:

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. BE SURE TO CHECK THEM BEFORE YOU EAT THEM. Sorry to yell at you like that, but thicker pieces take longer to cook, and since I don't know how thick your chicken is, the time is a ballpark. And biting into raw chicken is just icky. Cut open the thickest one and make sure there is no pink.

Top with a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce (this is a great recipe to make the same week you make strombolis, because you can split the can of spaghetti sauce) and more Parmesan. Serve with pasta and salad and enjoy!

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