Chicken Parmesan

Eric picked this dinner. I love getting his input on meals because he can be pretty picky when it comes to food and I enjoy cooking meals for him so much more when I know it’s something he is excited about…and this dinner was one of those meals.

FYI- you’re in luck!! Not only are you getting a chicken Parmesan recipe but you are getting my “famous” spaghetti sauce recipe (that really isn’t all that special, but seems to be pretty popular). I use this recipe for anytime I need a good spaghetti sauce, INCLUDING when I make Lasagna to feed 150 people every year for my fundraiser.  I have added carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, squash and other yummy veggies to the sauce and it turned out great! For the lasagna recipe I will add ground sausage and beef for a hearty meat sauce… of course you can also substitute ground turkey or chicken as well.

For the Chicken:

4-5 chicken breasts

bread crumbs

Italian seasonings (oregano, basil…)

Parmesan cheese

milk

1 egg

*1-2 cups mozzarella cheese to put on top of chicken before baking*

For the Sauce:

1 Lg can Tomato sauce

1 med can Tomato paste

2 C diced tomatoes (or 1 small can)

1 C diced onion

minced garlic

sugar

Italian seasonings (dried leaves OR fresh)

salt and pepper to taste

*mushrooms, bell peppers and other veggies optional*

To prep the chicken I stuck the breasts in a zip lock bag one at a time and pounded them flat with the back of an ice cream scoop…yep i’m that person who doesn’t have a meat hammer thingy so I use the ice cream scoop. 🙂 Pounding the chicken down is literally my favorite part of this dinner.  There is just something so therapeutic about hammering on the chicken as hard as you can and flattening it out. Then dip it in a milk/egg mixture.  I used about 1/2 cup milk and one egg. Flip the chicken then dip in the next container full of bread crumbs and other seasoning. Make sure the entire breast is covered with the dry mix.

** At this point you have the option of baking the chicken in the oven for 20-30 min until cooked OR frying  in a thin layer of oil**

I chose to fry them, two at a time, then laid them out on paper towel.

For the sauce, start with a little oil, onions and minced garlic (some prefer a lot, some prefer a little so I left the measurement up to your discretion) Then I add the tomatoes and any other desired veggies.  Simmer a few minutes then I add the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Turn the heat up to Hi and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t burn.  While the sauce is heating up you can also add the dry seasonings and some sugar.  The sugar is used to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes so again, this is a measurement reliant upon your preference so taste taste and taste. Once at a boil, turn the burner to low. **This Sauce can be left on low for hours if you are adding meat and want the flavors to really cook in. OR pour it into a crock pot and let sit on low until dinner**

Line the fried or baked chicken in a casserole dish (I sometimes place a cup of sauce underneath on the base of the pan to keep them from sticking). Once arranged int he pan pour 1-2 cups of sauce over the chicken. Top with desired amount of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

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