Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Someday...someday I will make my food photos look as good as the food tastes!

I love chicken parmesan!  And this is super easy.  It isn't extremely quick, but it is do-able with children under foot, and you can easily scale it up or down to make more or less.  It's not, however, one that I can involve the kids in very well.

This is another of those "recipes" of mine that is very approximate. 

A quick note about the bread crumbs - you can make your own from stale bread.  The Beast only did this because we ended up with some stale bread anyway, but it had the fortunate consequence of giving us some low sodium bread crumbs!  Otherwise, I usually end up with unseasoned bread crumbs because they are lower-sodium than seasoned.  Then I add whatever I feel like to it.  I had an "Italian blend" from a friend that I used tonight, but usually I'd add a little crushed red pepper, some basil, oregano, and parsley.

If you have some stale bread to make your own, The Beast says to pulverize it (we use a high-powered blender), then bake it at 275-ish for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn.  You want the bread crumbs completely dry so it can't grow mold. 

And on to the chicken parmesan recipe!!!

Ingredients
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I think I actually prefer the thighs because they are don't tend to dry out!)
-Bread crumbs (about 3/4 cup?)
-seasonings of choice for the bread crumbs
-Grated Parmesan (...I always forget this, so I suppose I'm not making chicken parmesan most of the time...)
-lemon juice (I juiced two lemons for four thighs)
-tomato sauce (a cup or so?)
-half a pound of mozzarella cheese


Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Season your bread crumbs and mix with the parmesan.  Set up an assembly line - bowl of lemon juice, bowl of bread crumb mixture, baking dish.

3.  Wash and trim the fat from the thighs/breasts (if you haven't tried kitchen shears for this task, you should!  So much easier than a knife!), then wet by dipping in the lemon juice, coat with bread crumb mixture, and arrange in the baking dish.  Bake breasts for 45 minutes, thighs for 35-40 minutes.

4.  When the chicken is done, remove from oven.  Turn the oven to broil and let it heat up while you put a generous dollop of sauce on each piece and top with a slice of mozzarella.

5.  Broil for a few minutes, checking to make sure the cheese doesn't burn.  We like it beyond melted and starting to bubble and brown.

6.  I serve with spaghetti and sauce, and a salad or some peas and carrots (frozen vegetable ftw!).  Enjoy!

Ready to go under the broiler


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