Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Parmigiana & Zucchini Risotto


Continuing in Comfort Foods week, I felt it was only fitting to include Chicken Parmigiana in the menu. Graham loves Chicken Parmigiana, and it's one of my favorites. I first learned to make Chicken Parmigiana with my mom, but the recipe is nearly identical to that of my grandma's Eggplant Parmigiana.

Growing up in Italy, my grandmother never made Chicken Parmigiana. The Italian way to make this meal is to use eggplant. Chicken Parmigiana became an "Italian" dish after Italian immigrants to the U.S. found it difficult to get eggplant when it was out of season, so chicken became an off-season substitute.

Overall, this is a simple recipe, but it reminds me of my grandmother in so many ways.

Okay, and I KNOW the picture is a horrible one. It's basically JUST the risotto, but you can see the chicken in the background. I'll update my risotto recipe next.

Chicken Parmigiana

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. olive oil
2 15 oz. cans spaghetti sauce
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
Oregano
Basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into egg and then bread crumbs, coating thoroughly. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil. Cook garlic until brown and flavor is infused into olive oil. Cook chicken in oil until well-browned on both sides.

Pour sauce into an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Season with oregano & basil. Place chicken onto sauce and top with both cheeses. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce bubbles.

Notes:
  • Normally I say, "Use whatcha got" when it comes to herbs and fresh vs. dried, but fresh makes all the difference when it comes to this meal.
  • Making a simple breading makes all the difference. You can use pre-breaded chicken breasts, but it's so easy to do egg and bread crumbs (and you could easily add flour to that mix) that it hardly takes any extra effort.

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