Chicken Parmesan for the Soul

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Chicken Parmesan has a special place in my heart. As I began learning how to cook as a teenager, chicken parmesan was a dish I made in an attempt to impress my parents. I think I did. If not, they were super supportive (as always) and encouraged my continued exploration in the kitchen. In either case, this dish became my go-to for special occasions. Is it your birthday? Chicken parm. Valentine’s Day? Chicken parm. Mother’s Day? You get the idea.

Admittedly, I haven’t made chicken parmesan in a long time, but when I stumbled upon a recipe online a fire was lit inside of me. I had to make it again, for old time sake. The visceral reaction to my “old flame” recipe was too much to contain. However, in revisiting this old favorite, I soon realized I was extremely rusty.

From not having the proper tools for flattening the chicken (fists and rolling pins to the rescue) to incorrectly testing the temperature of the hot oil (remember, water and hot oil do not mix), this wasn’t a walk in the park like I thought it would be. To top it off, my pots and pans weren’t large or deep enough to hold the four massive chicken breasts and the sauce altogether.

I was beginning to become frustrated when I remembered what my grandmother taught me about the importance of improvisation. Recently, I visited her in Louisiana. Everyone knows that most grandmas know their way around the kitchen. It’s almost unfair how she effortlessly whips up a full blown dinner for the family in no time at all. She asked me to help make some macaroni and cheese. I was being so rigid and uptight about having the correct ingredients and tools. She laughed and guided me in adding a little of this instead of that and using whatever tools we had in her kitchen. Without a doubt, it was great tasting mac and cheese, but the more valuable lesson was that improvising works.

So pound that chicken with your rolling pin! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, burn something, get messy, make a mess, and make do with what you have! If you don’t end up making something delicious in the end, there’s always next time. Just know, a lot of calamities went on during the making of this dish. In spite of all the face palm moments and mild frustrations the recipe turned out great, and I was full and satisfied. Chicken parmesan is still one of my favorite dishes to cook…and eat. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed making it!

Chicken Parmesan

What you need:

DSC_1149

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 6 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 sprigs of basil
  • 1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
  • 1.5 cup parsley, chopped
  • 0.5- 1 lb spaghetti or thin linguine, cooked.

Instructions:
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  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pound chicken breasts until 1/3 inch thick and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Dip pounded chicken breast in beaten eggs then cover completely in bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large oven-safe pan.
  • Brown chicken on all sides. Remove from pan and set to the side.
  • Carefully remove oil from the pan but leave about 2 TBS of oil in the skillet.
  • Saute chopped onion and garlic until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, add sprigs of basil, and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove basil, if desired, and carefully place chicken in sauce.
  • Sprinkle parmesan on top of each breast then top a thick slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast.
  • Carefully place pan into preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned.
  • Cook pasta, as desired, while the chicken is in the oven.
  • Serve on a plate with linguine/spaghetti and garnish with parsley.
  • Enjoy!

Cook With Me:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pound chicken breasts until 1/3 inch thick and season with salt and pepper to taste. The preferred tool is a meat tenderizer, but use what you’ve got.
  • Dip pounded chicken breast in beaten eggs then cover completely in bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large oven-safe pan. Don’t drip any water into the pan to test…trust me.DSC_1168
  • Brown chicken on all sides. Remove from pan and set to the side.
  • Carefully remove oil from the pan but leave about 2 TBS of oil in the skillet.
  • Saute chopped onion and garlic until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, add sprigs of basil, and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. (Note the fresh basil from my basil pot! 🙂 ) DSC_1191
  • Remove basil, if desired, and carefully place chicken in sauce. If you misjudge the depth of the pans, find another oven safe pan and transfer some sauce and chicken into that pan. (Cast iron to the rescue!)
  • Sprinkle parmesan on top of each breast then top a thick slice of mozzarella on each chicken breast.
  • Carefully place pan into preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned.DSC_1206.jpg
  • Cook pasta, as desired, while the chicken is in the oven.
  • Serve on a plate with linguine/spaghetti and garnish with parsley and enjoy!DSC_1213.jpg

Inspired by this recipe.

4 thoughts on “Chicken Parmesan for the Soul

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  1. Ok so we made this tonight. And I’ve got to be honest and say…..IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!! Ridiculously tender and flavorful. Easily some of the best Chicken Parmesan I’ve ever had. Five out of five stars!!!!!

    Like

  2. This is my new chicken parmesan go-to recipe! Tried it the other night with my husband and we are putting this on our keeper recipe list. The dish was tasty, moist, and flavorful. I highly recommend!

    Liked by 1 person

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