Friday, February 24, 2012
The reason that I am finally sharing my Chicken Parm with you is because I had to make it this week for N. You see N loves my Chicken Parm and I wanted to make him something special for his last night in Ottawa. That's right. His. Last. Night. In. Ottawa. Insert very sad face. N moved to the greener pastures of Toronto this week. He is in the process of looking for a new job, and hopefully there will be better opportunities there! Of course I am going to miss him, but I think the move will lead to great things for him. And I'm so excited to have a reason to visit TO again (my parents used to live there and I miss it!).
So... you will have to bear with me as I readjust to cooking for just one person. I'm hoping to bring you some single-person friendly recipes. My mom, the other K, will also be picking up some of the slack. And of course, I will be visiting Toronto often and cooking for 2 there too (just not every week).
But now for the main event! Keys to the best Chicken Parmigiana you can make at your own home (and better than many restaurants too):
1) Pound the chicken!!
2) Use a good tomato sauce, either make it yourself or look for in the US: Lucini or Rao's, in Canada: I actually like President's Choice Marinara
3) Using Dijon mustard to batter the chicken saves a step (from the usual flour, milk, egg combo) and gives it a little bit of extra flavor
3) Brown the chicken in butter to make it crispy, and always cook it in the oven so that the chicken stays moist
3 tablespoons butter
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup Marinara sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put three tablespoons of butter in a square glass baking dish and place the dish in the oven to melt the butter.
Place a chicken breast in a large freezer bag and pound it out until it becomes flatter and the thickness is a bit more even. Repeat for the second chicken breast.
Pour the breadcrumbs on a plate. In a separate bowl, coat the chicken in Dijon mustard. Then dip each piece of chicken in the breadcrumbs, so that both sides are coated with crumbs.
Remove the baking dish with the melted butter from the oven and place the chicken in the dish. Return the dish to the oven and cook the chicken for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes. Then pour the Marinara sauce onto the chicken (I like to let it run off of the sides a little bit). And sprinkle the cheese on top of the chicken. Return to the oven and continue to cook until the cheese melts. You can broil it a little bit if you would like.
Serve with spaghettini or angel hair pasta, extra sauce, and some vegetables. (The picture above is roasted asparagus with olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper.) Also note, I usually eat half of my chicken and save the other half for lunch. And this recipe can very, very easily be adapted to feed more people - just add more chicken and bump up the quantities of everything else (you can really use as much or as little of everything anyways! More sauce? No problem. More cheese? Always!)