So, last night’s big Valentine’s Day dinner was my husband’s favorite comfort food. Chicken parmigiana. What’s not to love about tender chicken, breaded, fried to a crisp, tossed in tomato sauce, and smothered in melted mozzarella?! I mean come on! We both work full-time jobs, so a few short cuts were necessary to pull this one off before it ended up a midnight dinner. I made the sauce yesterday (What?! We’re Italian! That’s what we do on Sundays), and I took the glacier of chicken breast out of the freezer before I left for work in the morning.
Here’s how I did it…
I cut up chicken breasts to about the size of the palm of my hand or slightly bigger.
Make sure you pat the chicken dry. This will make the next step much more effective.
In a mixing bowl (or in my case the closest bowl to you ;)), whisk together 1 cup of ice-cold water, 1 egg, and about 3/4 c flour. It doesn’t have to be perfectly blended, it’s actually better if it isn’t.
Dunk the chicken in….
Next, traditionally you dredge the egg coated chicken into flour –or if you want to get fancy into Italian style bread crumbs. Well, this girl likes her crispy stuff really crisp! I dredge these babies into panko bread crumbs. Panko bread crumbs are Japanese style. They are commonly used for that beautiful crunch when you bite into a shrimp tempura roll! So, thanks to the Japanese, this dish is even crunchier.
This is where you need to make a decision. To you want it fried or healthified? If you want it fried (the way all Italian grandmothers make it), please continue reading. If not, skip down a few paragraphs.
Place the chicken into your frying pan that’s coated with olive oil over medium-high heat. Make sure you leave some space in between them, they will fry better, more evenly, and faster. About 4 minutes on this side.
I said 4 minutes, but that depends on how thick the chicken is. Flip them when they start to look like there is a golden brown crust on the bottom. Like this…
Now give them a flip.
If you are healthify-ing this dish, place your egg & panko chicken onto a cookie sheet & into the oven for about 20 minutes. While they are cooking, begin coating a baking dish with sauce.
Put your cooked chicken into the dish.
I put the fried chicken in one dish and the baked in another so I won’t get confused.
Top with shredded mozzarella.
You can use part skim cheese for a lower fat version.
Put them in the oven (At 375, the oven should already be hot from when you baked the chicken).
I made some ziti as a side
Then I boiled up some asparagus
I drizzled olive oil then hit them with some grated cheese
Serve the chicken with the pasta and top with sauce. Brava.
Needless to say, this one’s not exactly waistline conscious. Until now 🙂
Just because you are watching what you eat, doesn’t mean you can’t eat what you want.