Sunday, October 23, 2011

Perfect Chicken Parmesan

Dinner: October 22

This is a year of firsts for me. I mentioned at the beginning I had yet to try to cook even some of the most basic dishes/meals. Chicken parmesan was one of them.

Giada de Laurentiis has a simple and slightly different recipe for chicken parm in her cookbook, “Everyday Italian.” It doesn’t involve breading the chicken, and it sounded interesting.

The recipe was set up for four servings, and some leftovers of this sounded good, so I made the entire recipe.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (none at the grocery, used dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup marinara sauce (made my own by processing partial can of diced tomatoes, fresh basil & olive oil)
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Basics:  Whisked oil and herbs together, brushed on both sides of chicken cutlets along with salt and pepper. Heated cutlets in hot ovenproof skillet for one minute per side, removed from heat. Poured marinara sauce over meat, topped each one with mozzarella and Parmesan, then butter pieces. Put pan in preheated 500-degree oven for 5 minutes.

While I was prepared for a complicated meal, it was actually fairly simple. I made the marinara sauce myself, which took an extra few minutes, but the entire meal didn’t take more than 30 minutes. And it was quite good! It might have been better with the traditional breading, but this was light and tasted healthy. The change I made was not measuring the cheeses, as I decided to eyeball it and simply shred over the meat until it looked right. It was a great entrĂ©e - simple, quick, and delish!

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