Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's for Dinner - Chicken Parm, Again

The first time I tried this, I didn't have the right cheese, and I forgot to take pictures, no doubt disappointing all three of my fans. This time I have a gorgeous picture of the end result, and an improved recipe to share. Also, I paired it with my homemade fettuccine, so I get extra awesome points.

You'll need:
Chicken breasts
1 egg
Garlic salt
Olive oil
Garlic cloves
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Get out some chicken breasts, and pound them so they're evenly flat. I used frozen chicken breasts from Costco which were already flat, so I skipped that step, but if you're starting from fresh and they're those huge D-cup chicken breasts, cut them into 2 or 3 pieces, cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap, and then smash them flat with a meat pounder or a small pot.

Beat one egg in a bowl big enough to let you dip the chicken pieces in. Then fill a shallow dish with breadcrumbs - that will be step two. Add some garlic salt and oregano to the breadcrumbs and stir it all with a fork until it's evenly distributed.

Chop 2 garlic cloves into big pieces and smash them flat with the side of your knife so their insides are smooshing out, then put some olive oil (about 2 tbsp) in a frying pan and toss those cloves in. Stir them around a little and pull them out when you're ready to add the chicken.

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides, then run them through the egg and breadcrumbs before laying them in the pan to cook. Leave them there without touching them for at least 5 minutes to get brown on the bottom, then flip them over and give them another 5 minutes. While that's happening, get some cheese ready, either by grating or slicing very thin. Slice extra if you have a husband who sneaks by and "tests" the cheese quality by eating it all.

Once both sides of the chicken are brown, check the internal temp with a thermometer. Cook them a little longer if you need to. It depends on how hot your pan is and how flat you smashed your chicken. If they're done, move them to an oven safe dish and put a glob of tomato sauce onto each piece before covering them with cheese and sticking them into the oven to get melty. Just put them under the broiler for a minute or two and they'll be perfect.

I actually sliced more cheese than I needed, overcompensating for the presence of the rogue cheese tester, so I covered the chicken with a layer of cheese, then sauce, then more cheese. Which turned out to be a great idea, because cheese is so delicious. If you want to get fancy, you can sprinkle some oregano and some black pepper onto the melted cheese at the very end to make it look special.

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