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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

One day I was watching Paula Dean on Food Network.  She made a recipe called Oven Fried Chicken.  I have made it several times, and it is great on its own!  One day I decided to convert it into a chicken parmesan recipe! I was pleased with the outcome :)

Chicken Parmesan over Linguine

First make the sauce.....this sauce gets even more delicious as the flavors blend, so it can be made several days in advance! 

Marinara Sauce

1 T. olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced green pepper
6 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup dry red or white wine
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1 (28oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
I like Muir Glen organic tomatoes...they are so fresh tasting!
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste


Heat oil in dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender.  Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Next do the chicken.....Here is the recipe: 

Oven Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly minced thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 -inch thickness


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack over pan and spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, to taste. In a separate shallow dish, combine mustard, water, salt and pepper, to taste, and remaining olive oil. Coat each chicken breast with mustard mixture; dredge each in bread crumb mixture. Place on prepared rack in pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:  I use 1 lb. of chicken tenders to 1/2 of the crumb recipe, but the whole amount of sauce.  I also add some dried oregano, basil, and italian seasoning to the crumb part....just sprinkle it need to measure!  (I love chicken tenders! They cook so quickly and are never tough!) If using tenders you can reduce baking time to around 18-20 minutes.  If you have any leftovers that don't get covered in marinara sauce, use them in sandwiches the next day with some honey mustard! Delicious!

Once you have the sauce made and the chicken baked....
Boil up some pasta...whatever you have on hand will work! I used whole wheat linguine.

Grab a baking dish and ladle in some marinara sauce.  Place the cooked chicken on top.  Then cover the chicken with sauce.  Grate up some mozzarella cheese and sprinkle over the sauce.  Bake for a few minutes at 350 degrees just until the cheese is melted. 

Mix any remaining sauce into the pasta, and serve Chicken Parmesan on top of pasta!

If you do the 1 lb. of chicken, this would feed around 4 people.

What I like to do with leftovers, is put them in plastic freezer containers (individual serving size) and pop them in the freezer.  Then when I need a quick and easy lunch I put into a glass dish, add a little water, and microwave until hot! I have found most pasta dishes freeze fabulously!

For a complete meal, add a salad!

Here is what I made:

Side Salad

red onion
parmesan cheese

tossed together in this dressing:

Favorite Balsamic Dressing:

1 cup olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 T. chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients together except olive oil. Whisk vigorously, while pouring oil in a steady stream.
Makes around 1 cup. Stores well in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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