Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chicken Parmesan

Breaded chicken in a tomato sauce smothered in Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.



When I used to eat out at chain Italian restaurants chicken Parmesan is the meal I always chose.  I don't eat out at chain restaurants much anymore.  I find that I make pretty good food at home, and when I eat out I like to go to local restaurants.  I particularly do not like to go to most Italian places (unless they are more high end) because I think I make just as good if not better pastas at home.  This was my first try at chicken Parmesan and it was delicious, much cheaper than at a restaurant and just as, if not more, yummy.

Many of the chicken Parmesan recipes I looked up started with just breaded chicken and then you put some Parmesan on top.  This was not good enough for me (cheese lover that I am).  I did not have any actual Parmesan, just the grated shaker kind, so I added grated Parmesan to my bread crumb mixture.  Making my chicken not only breaded but also 'cheesed'.



Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
flour, for dredging
1-2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp Olive oil
*1/2 onion chopped
*1 Tbsp garlic minced
*1 14.5oz can stewed tomatoes, crushed
*1 cup red wine
*1 Tbsp dried basil
* few dashes dried oregano
**alternatively substitute all * items with 1 jar of favorite pasta sauce**
Mozzarella
Parmesan
Spaghetti or pasta of choice
salt and pepper to taste


Take 4 chicken thighs, if they are thick pound them with a flat mallet until about 1/2 inch thin, and season lightly with salt and pepper (on both sides). Also set up a breading station:  place flour (you can season the flour if you want) in a shallow bowl, put the beaten eggs in another shallow bowl, and finally, add bread crumbs and grated Parmesan to a large Ziploc bag and mix thoroughly.

Heat a large, oven proof, skillet with 2 Tbsps of oil over medium heat and preheat the oven to 400F.


Coat each thigh, one at a time, in flour and shake off excess.  Then, dunk it in the egg, and drop into bread crumb mixture.  Shake the bag to coat the chicken thoroughly with bread crumbs and then place in the hot skillet.  Continue with each thigh.

Fry for 5-8 minutes, until browned and crispy, on both sides.  Remove chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.


*In the hot pan, add onions and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and then pour in the tomatoes and wine.  Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up any leftover bits of the chicken.  Add the basil, oregano, and salt and pepper.  Allow mixture to simmer for a few minutes.

**Alternatively, just pour a jar of your favorite pasta sauce into the skillet, scrapping the bottom of the pan to pick up all the browned bits of the chicken.

Place chicken back in the skillet, on top of the tomato sauce, and cover each piece of chicken with some Parmesan and mozzarella.

Turn off the burner and place the entire skillet into the oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.


Serve a piece of chicken, with some sauce, on top of pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti).  Makes 4 servings.

Enjoy.

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