Friday, November 18, 2011

Cooking with me - Chicken Parmigiana

I made chicken parmigiana for dinner last night. This is a recipe I cobbled together myself, taking elements from every parmigiana dish I've ever had.

This time, I used chicken breasts, but I usually use tenders. It really doesn't matter.

First, cut up your chicken and marinate in Italian dressing for at least 30 minutes.

Taking a bath, Italian style
Before we do anything with the chicken, let's get started on our spaghetti sauce. You can use canned sauce, made from scratch, or whatever your little heart desires. Last night, I used Wild Tree's spaghetti sauce seasoning mix. All it requires is a 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp of the seasoning, and then 20 minutes on the stove.

Let's make spaghetti sauce

Next, take your meat mallet and relieve some of your pent-up aggression. I stretch plastic wrap over the meat as I'm tenderizing it, as I've found it helps reduce gibbet splatter. I try to pound it out to 1/8" thick or so.

You have crossed me for the last time!
Once the meat has been tenderized, it's time to dredge it in your breadcrumb mixture. You can use either Italian-style or plain breadcrumbs. I used plain last night, and then added some Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and grated Parmesan cheese. If you're using Italian-style breadcrumbs, leave out the Italian seasoning.

All dredged up and no place to go

Now it's time to start cooking! Add a little oil to your pan, and heat it up to medium. I use grapeseed oil from Wild Tree, but pretty much any cooking oil will work. Once the oil has heated up, add your chicken. Since we've pounded it so thin, it only takes 3 - 5 minutes per side, at most.

Taking an oil bath this time
Looking happy happy

Don't forget to cook your pasta. I try to start it a little after I've started cooking the chicken, because I usually have to do 3 or 4 batches on the chicken. I like everything to finish up about the same time, so it's all nice and warm.

My, what a nice bed that will make
Once everything's all finished, it's time to plate it up. First, make a bed of your spaghetti, and put some of the sauce on top of it. Place a piece or two of the chicken on top of that, and then garnish with shredded mozzarella cheese. You can also garnish with a bit of parsley if you'd like, but I didn't do that this time.

Now that looks good enough to eat
Serve with a side salad, and you're good to go.

Bon App├ętit!

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