Chicken Parmesan

Oooh La La, right? Not really. This is a super simple recipe that uses store bought bread crumbs and sauce. I've made it all from scratch before, only to discover that it's just as good with the store bought ingredients, so why bother, I say. It's one of those assembly type recipes. Don't tell anyone though because they'll never guess by the taste. This is great for company too. It can be made ahead and heated and served so that you can spend time with your guests instead of in the kitchen. Here's what you'll need:

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 for every 2 people)
  • 1 jar good spaghetti/marinara sauce (I use Bartolli)
  • italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • parmesan cheese, shredded
  • olive oil and butter

 

You can see by the picture that I made this even simpler by buying my chicken breasts already sliced. If you have whole chicken breasts, slice them first.

Heat a 50/50 mixture of olive oil and butter in a skillet. I like to use my electric skillet for this.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Mix the eggs in a shallow bowl.

Add the bread crumbs to another shallow bowl.

Spread a little of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.

To make this easy, set up an assembly line like this:

Take one piece and dip it in the egg dish. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then dredge the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs. Shake off the excess crumbs.

Add the dredged chicken to the hot skillet and fry until brown, then turn and fry the other side until it's brown. The chicken doesn't have to be fully cooked yet.

Place the chicken in the casserole with the sauce and top with parmesan and then mozzarella and more sauce. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.

Bake at 350 degrees about 30-30 minutes until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is hot and bubbly.

Enjoy!

Lynn

                Chicken Parmesan

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 for every 2 people)
  • 1 jar good spaghetti/marinara sauce (I use Bartolli)
  • italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • mozarella cheese, shredded
  • parmesan cheese, shredded
  • olive oil

Cut each chicken breast in half, horizontally, so that you end up with 2 very thin pieces. 

Mix the eggs in a shallow bowl.

Add the bread crumbs to another shallow bowl.

Spread a little of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Season all the chicken with salt and pepper. Take one piece and dip it in the egg dish. Allow the excess egg to drip off, then dredge the chicken in the seasoned bread crumbs. Shake off the excess crumbs then fry the dredged chicken a skillet in the olive oil, until browned on both sides. The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked through at this time.

Place the chicken in the casserole with the sauce and top with parmesan and then mozzarella and more sauce. Repeat this process with the remaining chicken.

Bake at 350 degrees about 30-30 minutes until the cheeses are melted and the sauce is hot and bubbly.

 

Spicy Fried Chicken

Today I had a hankerin' for some fried chicken. That's right, a deep down, gotta have it, hankerin'. I always keep skinless, boneless chicken thighs in the freezer, so I got out 2 packages because I had a feeling that I wasn't the only one who was going to want some. A quick brine while they thawed, followed by a soak in some buttermilk and I was almost ready. I know that fried chicken sounds intimidating, but really it's easy. I've come up with my own strategy to make it less messy too. It was good. I mean really good. Hubby and son ate 3 pieces EACH, and Hubby said he wanted more but he was afraid he might make himself sick. MIGHT?? I was satisfied with 1 piece myself. You should definitely give this a try. Here's what you'll need:

    • 9 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I rarely use chicken breasts for anything anymore. The thighs are so much more flavorful and very moist. Some people think they don't like thigh meat, but whenever I serve it I get comments about how much better my chicken is than theirs. When I say it's because I don't use breasts, they are surprised but tasting is all the proof they need to switch.) 
    • 2 C flour
    • 2 TBL onion powder
    • 2 TBL smokey paprika
    • 2 TBL cayenne pepper (less if you don’t want it very spicy)
    • 2 TBL ground coriander
    • 2 TBL cracked black pepper
    • 2 TBL salt
    • 3 C buttermilk
    • peanut oil

Since my chicken was frozen, I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and brine it while it thawed. I put the frozen chicken in a big bowl of water and added 1/4 cup of Kosher salt. I let it sit on the kitchen counter until the chicken was thawed, then I poured the water off and rinsed the chicken with cold water. Next I poured buttermilk over the thawed chicken until it was covered, then put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to start cooking.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour and the seasonings until well combined. 

When you're ready to start cooking, take the chicken out of the refrigerator. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. One of my tips for frying chicken is to use an electric skillet. It's very easy to regulate the temperature and I put it on my kitchen island with a towel under it to absorb the grease splatters. Because of this, I don't have to clean my whole stove top. My skillet can also go into the dishwasher, so all I have to do to clean up is unplug it, drain the oil, then put it in the dishwasher. The towel goes into the laundry and I'm done. It takes all the mess out of frying.

When the oil is hot, it's time to get the chicken coated. Take 1 piece of chicken out of the buttermilk and let the excess drain off. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all sides well. Shake off the excess flour then gently place it in the hot oil. Repeat with each piece. My skillet holds 4 pieces at a time. You don't want to crowd the pieces so it's better to fry fewer at a time and do more batches.

Fry the chicken for about 4 minutes on the first side, then turn it and fry it on the other side for about 4 more minutes. I use an instant read thermometer to make sure the chicken is done since some pieces are thicker than others. When it reads 165 degrees it's ready. Drain it on a rack with paper towel underneath. Sprinkle with salt as soon as you take it out. Repeat with the remaining pieces. 

Just like I said--easy! And better than anything you buy in a box I promise. I served it with a big Caesar salad and nothing else. It was perfect! 

Enjoy!

Lynn

Grilled Beer Brined Chicken

I wanted to grill a beer butt chicken but all I had was bottled beer. You know what that is. It's when you set a can of beer inside the cavity of a whole chicken, then grill it in a vertical position. So instead, I decided to brine the chicken in the beer first, then grill it. It was really good and very moist. Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • your favorite grill seasoning.

When I grill a whole chicken, I like to remove the backbone and spread the chicken out so that it cooks more evenly. Just put the chicken back side up on a cutting board. With sharp kitchen shears, cut from the neck to the tail along one side of the backbone. Repeat on the other side to remove the bone. Now apply pressure with your hand to flatten it.

Put the chicken in a large, heavy-duty zip top bag and add the beer. Seal the bag, put it in a bowl and put the bowl in the refrigerator for several hours.

While your grill is heating up, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and drain the beer and pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Add the seasonings of your choice and put it on the grill skin side down first. Close the lid and let it cook (at 325 degrees) for about 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over and cook until done. My total cooking time was about 1 1/2 hours, but that will be determined by the heat of your grill. Try cooking is at a lower temperature for a little longer and you'll get a really moist chicken.

I served this with champagne vinaigrette potato salad and a sliced avocado. Delicious! The low and slow cooking gave it an amazing smoky flavor and it was really moist. Give it a try.

Enjoy!

Lynn