Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chicken Parmigiana

So satisfying, so filling, is there anything better than ooey gooey cheesy chicken parmigiana? This is my version of the claissic Italian dish, a satisfying dinner...and now I can't move :) I started making this dish earlier this year, so it is a fairly new recipe, after making it several times I am confident that the recipe I am posting here is my best (thus far). This recipe takes about an hour to cook so be prepared, I streamlined today's recipe by using canned sauce. Did I mention I work full time and don't always have the extra time before dinner to make my own homemade sauces? Don't get me wrong, homemade sauces are great and delicious, the canned sauce buys me some time so I can actually rest (and post) before I hit the hay for the day!

I find myself always changing recipes, substituting ingredients and trying new things,trying to improve my cooking techniques, flavors and recipes. So if another version of this dish appears on my blog in the not so near future, please forgive me. Innovation, isn't it grand?
How will you re-invent this recipe?

I don't know why the serving size (below) or the word always (above) is highlighted, and I am sorry. After fifteen minutes of trying to fix it I gave up!

Serves 6 
First, finely dice half of a large onion, slice about 5-6 mushrooms (I used button white here) and dice 4 cloves of garlic.

In a medium saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add in ingredients, salt and pepper to taste and sautee until tender.

Adding these ingredients to the canned sauce really enhances its flavor and gives the parmigiana sauce more depth and deliciousness (oh that a word?).

Add in your favorite can of spaghetti sauce, stir together and bring to a boil.
 (I used Huntz Organic sauce)

Add salt and pepper to taste, reduce heat and let simmer until needed.

Letting the sauce simmer longer will let the mushrooms, onions and garlic really infuse the rest the sauce with their flavor.

Meanwhile in a stockpot, bring 8 quarts of water to a boil and cook your choice of spaghetti per the package instructions. (I used linguine here)

Once your pasta is cooked drizzle it with extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and toss. Set aside.

Set up a breading station for your chicken. In a shallow dish add 1/2 a cup of flour, in another beat 2 large eggs and finally in the third add 1/2 a cup of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs.

Add salt and pepper to taste to the bread crumb mixture.

First, drench the chicken in flour on both sides.

For this recipe I used four boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Next, dip into egg mixture and coat chicken breast evenly.

Finally, lay the chicken in the bread crumbs and coat both sides evenly.

Coat a nonstick pan with vegetable oil and heat on medium/high. Add in breaded chicken and brown.

Brown remaining chicken pieces and set aside. Chicken will be a nice golden brown color.

Don't worry the chicken will cook longer in the oven. I also split the large chicken pieces in two with a knife for easy serving.

Remove your sauce from the stove and pour into a Pyrex baking dish.

Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the sauce.

I feel so bad for that piece in the middle, I stepped away from the stove for a minute too long!

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through completely.

Before pulling out of the oven, grate 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, add to the tops of the chicken pieces and bake until the cheese melts. Once melted remove from oven and serve.
Serve each piece of chicken with spaghetti (or linguine) with sauce from pan.