07 March 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Everyone loves Chicken Parmesan, right? RIGHT? :)

What you need:

Grated Parmesan cheese (don't buy the stuff in the can....either get the stuff in the tub at the deli or get a whole chunk of it and grate it yourself); seasoned breadcrumbs; oil to fry in; eggs; salt & pepper; flour; chicken tenderloins (this is a 1.5 lb package....and you can totally use breasts, just butterfly them and/or pound them thin....I just forgot to take chicken breasts out of the freezer, so I stopped at the store on my way home this afternoon, and I said 'hey less work for me!' and grabbed tenders; pasta (I used whole wheat linguine tonight. Use what you like).

Not present for picture day: Mozzarella cheese--and only because I didn't PLAN to use it, but my husband whined, so I sent him to the grocery store down the street while I was breading and frying the chicken. haha!

Start by setting up your typical 3-part breading 'station'. Seasoned flour--heavily seasoned with salt & pepper; eggs (feel free to add some milk to this if you want, not really necessary, though); breading. For the breading, I mixed equal parts grated Parmesan cheese and seasoned breadcrumbs. This was a 5 oz tub of grated parmesan cheese, and I basically dumped it on a plate, filled the tub with breadcrumbs and mixed them together.

If I were you, this is where I'd get a cooling rack out and set it near my breading "station", pour about half an inch of oil in the bottom of either a big skillet or a dutch oven over medium-medium high heat, and then lay out about 4 or 5 layers of paper towels/paper bags/newspaper under an upside down cooling rack next to the stove.

Trim any icky parts off your chicken, then get to dunking. Flour, shake off the excess--coat in egg, let the excess drip off--breadcrumb/cheese mixture, get a good thick coating on there. Then just set the breaded chicken tender on the cooling rack.

Once you get them all breaded, fry them up in small batches--don't overcrowd your pan or they won't brown and it'll be a big icky mess. haha! I find for my dutch oven, 3 at a time is perfect and leaves me lots of room to get in there and flip them over. Fry them until the bottoms are nice and golden brown, then flip them over and cook till the other side is golden brown. Don't worry TOO much about cooking them through, as you're gonna throw them in the oven anyway. Remove to the cooling rack next to your stove. Lather, rinse, repeat until all of your chicken is cooked.

Pile all the chicken up into a glass baking dish (and resist the urge to nibble....or, well, just don't take a photo of that 'step')....

NOMNOMNOM...snag a couple for lunches, these make killer sandwiches!
Pour your favorite red sauce over it. Tonight I used a simple 3-ingredient red sauce (tomatoes, butter, onion) that I made too much of and froze a couple weeks ago. All I added was some oregano. Use whatever you like. Then, if your husband is whiny like mine can be...sprinkle the top with cheese...ugh.

Cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees till it heats through (about half an hour, 45 mins for tenders, but I'd probably do an hour for breasts). Then remove the foil and put it back in the oven till the cheese browns if that's what you're into. ;)

Serve over pasta, with a nice salad, maybe even some fresh garlic bread. :) NOM!!!!!

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