Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

I keep trying to make nutritious inventive delicious dinners (and low carb, too) but the older I get the less inspired I am to mess up the kitchen, but we've got to have dinner so I do have to cook sometimes. Since I can't afford a private chef and all.

So, Friday night I was trying to think of what to make for dinner with the chicken breasts we had in the freezer and I remembered that I had bought some spaghetti sauce to make chicken parmesan, the recipe for which I couldn't find so I googled. The first recipe that I found did something that I had never thought of before, you fry the chicken before putting it in the pan with the sauce and cheese and all to bake. I'm sure everyone else in the world fries the chicken first but every other chicken parmesan recipe that I've tried just has you rolling the chicken in breading and baking, no frying.

So, let's try the frying recipe. We will ignore the recipe for the sauce since why make your own when you can just buy the 88c can of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce over at Winco that is actually one of the best tasting sauces I've tried. And it was already in the cupboard.

You need some boneless skinless chicken breasts of course.
2 eggs (or one if you are only making a few breasts like I was)
1 cup breadcrumbs and the recipe says, and say this to yourself in one of those 'I make everything from scratch so I'm way better than you neener neener' kind of snotty voices WE MAKE OUR BREADCRUMBS RUNNING PIECES OF STALE FRENCH BREAD THROUGH THE BLENDER la de effing dah. I don't eat french bread anymore and don't have a blender and if I did have any french bread it certainly wouldn't be stale BECAUSE I WOULD HAVE EATEN THE ENTIRE LOAF OF FRENCH BREAD GOODNESS before it could get anywhere near stale. I'll just use the can of Hy-Top brand breadcrumbs from Winco, thank you very much. Oh, the horror!
1 cup freshly grated parmesan, but feel free to use the stuff that comes in the plastic container, again the cheap Hy-Top brand from Winco.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced. Umm, no fresh basil leaves thinly sliced around here and it sounds kind of icky anyway because I really don't want some leaves on my chicken so I'm leaving this part out.
And finally, 8 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced. I didn't have any mozzarella so I used provolone which works okay too.

Okay, so you take your chicken breasts and put them in between waxed paper and pound the hell out of them with a meat mallet to make them all flat and uniform in thickness. Then salt them with the salt.
Then you dredge the chicken in the egg or eggs (cracked into a bowl and beaten with a fork).
Then you put the cup of breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup of the parmesan into a bowl and dredge the chicken through that. Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese all up first.
While you were dredging you were supposed to be heating up the oil in a pan until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. What? Shimmering oil? Whatever. Just get the oil hot but not too hot.
Stick the chicken in the pan and cook for- oh wait, the recipe says GENTLY fry, so no rough stuff here, cook for 3-4 minutes per side until browned. I never believe recipes that say you can cook chicken for only 3-4 minutes so I cooked for more like 6-7 minutes per side, but whatever.

When your chicken is fried up to your desired crispiness, put some of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of whatever size baking dish you need (I heated up the sauce first because that just seemed right) and then put the chicken on top of the sauce, add the rest of however much sauce you want, put the sliced cheese on top and then the other 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

Oh, I forgot you were supposed to be preheating your oven to 400 while you were cooking the chicken so take a break here if you forgot and wait for the oven to heat up, then put the pan in the oven (duh) and bake for about 10-12 minutes which again doesn't seem long enough so just bake until the cheese is all melty and slightly browned.

If you want leaves in your dinner you were supposed to put the basil leaves on the chicken before the cheese.

And if you are allowed to eat carbs, this would be really good over spaghetti. With french bread beside it and then you could save some of the french bread and let it get stale so you can be all I make my own breadcrumbs and I'm better than you.

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