Feb 10 2014

Chicken Parmigiana

If you are anything like me, you dread trying to think of dinner ideas for the week, especially when you come home late after a long day at work.  Lately my sweet husband has been making most of the dinners for us lately since he has been getting home earlier than me.  Just one of the many things I love about him :)  But this week I’m going to give him a break and prepare the meals!  Over the weekend, I planned out my meals for the week and did my shopping.  This way I know exactly what I am going to make each night and definitely takes away the stress of trying to figure it out when I get home.  I’ll share one of those meals with you today, so now you have one less meal to think of this week!

Chicken Parmigiana is one of my favorite dishes at Italian restaurants.  It is fairly easy to make at home.  I’ve tried many chicken parmigiana recipes over the years and adapted several and created my own version.  This would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner too!

Chicken Parmigiana 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 jar marinara sauce
  • 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 4 thin boneless, skinless breast halves
  • oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  • salt & pepper
  • small ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in 4 thin slices

Directions:

Heat the broiler. Combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl.  Crack the large egg in a shallow bowl and lightly beat.  Season both sides of the chicken lightly with salt and pepper.  Dip both sides of the chicken in the egg, letting the excess egg drip off.  Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides.  Drain the liquid from the canned tomatoes and pour the diced tomatoes into a large baking dish. Pour the marinara sauce over the diced tomatoes.

Coat a large skillet with oil and place over medium heat.  Place the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the browned chicken on top of the marinara sauce in the baking dish.  Top each piece of chicken with a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Place on the top rack of the oven under the broiler.  Heat for about 6 to 8 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.

Serve over a bed of pasta.  Bow ties or capellini are my favorite!  When I have fresh basil I’ll add a a few leaves to the top of each piece of chicken just before serving.

Chicken Parmigiana 2

Tried and True Tips:

  • I used super thin chicken breast halves (less than a 1/4 inch thick).  If you can’t find  chicken this thin, simply place the chicken breast between plastic wrap and pound thin using a meat mallet.
  • I find that pie tins work great for dredging.  Save your tins the next time you buy a pie!
  • To ensure that the chicken is well coated with the breadcrumb mixture, I like to firmly press both sides of the chicken after it has been coated with breadcrumbs.
  • Thinly sliced, fresh mozzarella browns really well and gives a great texture vs using grated mozzarella that is not fresh.
  • I use Kraft grated Parmesan (the kind in the green bottle that you shake!)
  • The can of diced tomatoes is optional, but I love the chunky texture it adds to the marinara sauce.
  • Stainless steal or aluminum skillets give you the best browning results (vs a nonstick skillet).
  • Cooking time varies depending on how thick your pieces of chicken are.

What are some of your go-to week night meals?  I’m always looking for ideas!

Signature - Alisa

 

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