Chicken Parmesan a la Jeb

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I believe that the ability to fry up a good chicken cutlet is a skill that comes in handy all the time. I’ve never made chicken Parmesan before, but I knew it involved this skill. The dish doesn’t seem to need a recipe: fry chicken, bake with marinara sauce and cheese. Serve over pasta. Done. Presto.

We had this leftover homemade Jebinara sauce from a cool guy/awesome cook I know named Jeb (he’s single, ladies!). We had pasta. We had chicken. We had Paremsan cheese. I picked up some mozarella cheese at the store and this meal instantly became my new “brilliantly cheap” recipe of the week.

First, I pounded four chicken breasts between two pieces of wax paper. I don’t have a mallet, so I just used a small cast-iron pan. You really can use anything that’s big and heavy. I’ve never done this before, but it really makes that chicken tender!

Next, I set up my dredging station. Three shallow dishes: flour + seasoned salt + paprika, egg + splash of water, bread crumbs + dried basil. You can do this any way you like. I wish I had Italian bread crumbs, but I didn’t, so I added basil to the crumbs and it was wonderful. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shake off excess, then egg, shake, then bread crumbs, shake.

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Next, I heated canola oil in a pan over medium and fried each breast until golden on each side.

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I set the oven to 350 degrees and placed the finished chicken in a glass baking dish. I covered them moderately with marinara sauce (you can make this yourself or just buy it from a store). Next, top with shredded mozzarella cheese (about a cup) and a little Parmesan cheese. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes, if you like a little heat (we do!).

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Bake in the oven until all the cheese is melted (the Parm won’t really melt like the moz.).

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Meanwhile, cook some spaghetti and toss with a simple garlic oil: four chopped garlic cloves cooked in 2 T olive oil. Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley, if you have it.

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When the chicken dish is done, take it out to cool and sprinkle parsley over the top. Plate up the pasta, top with the chicken and add more Parm, if you want. Serve with a simple salad and a glass of red wine.

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Thank you, Jeb, for that awesome sauce, which you know we also used in the toasted ravioli. Please send us more next Christmas!

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