So I have the family in town tonight, and it just wouldn't be right to have my mom (also a lover of cooking) in town, and not treat her to probably one of my best dishes.... according to Chris that is =) so on the menu for tonight I'll be treating the family to Homemade Chicken Parmigiana with Alfredo Pasta. I have to first say, and this won't be the last time for sure, all of the measurements listed below are not exact. I mostly cook by eye and taste (mm!), but I'll do my best to "guesstimate" the proper measurements for your culinary enjoyment =) Here is the recipe for the chicken and tomorrow I'll follow it up with an Alfredo sauce that is out of this world! Bon Appetit!
-4 boneless chicken breasts pounding to about 1/2" thin
-1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped Oregano
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 Tbsp. water
-4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
*1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
*because this is only a tiny part of the recipe, I prefer to use Prego traditional sauce. I have a homemade recipe I like to use for spaghetti and bruschettas but it's much more complex and you're not going to want to wait too long to dive into this chicken... trust me! =)
-In a 9 x 13 glass dish, spoon 2 Tbsp. of marinara and spread evenly to just coat the bottom of the pan (this will prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom of the pan).
-In a shallow dish, combine eggs and water and whisk together until little air bubbles appear at the surface - set aside. In a separate dish, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and oregano.
(*I like to use the panko breadcrumbs because their larger and more coarse than traditional breadcrumbs. This makes for a lighter, crispier breading. If you prefer a thinner more dense breading, just substitute the panko crumbs for more italian breadcrumbs.) Mix evenly and set aside. Salt and pepper each chicken breast on both sides then dip both sides in egg wash and then dredge thoroughly in breadcrumb mixture.
-In a large saute pan, coat the bottom evenly with olive oil and place on medium heat. (*It's important that the pan is up to temperature when you place the chicken in the pan. The chicken should sizzle once it hits the pan, but be careful not to let the oil heat up for too long or the olive oil will burn. The best way to judge if the oil is ready is when you look at the surface of the oil it should almost look as though it's rippling.)
-Place the chicken breasts in the hot oil but be careful not to overcrowd the pan. For larger chicken breasts, you may only want to cook two at a time. Cook each breast about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Breasts should have a nice dark golden appearance. (Also be careful not to poke or turn breasts too much as this may dry out the chicken.) Place the cooked chicken into the 9 x 13 pan and layer evenly. Top the chicken with remaining marinara and then top with shredded mozzarella. Place chicken in broiler until mozzarella is golden and bubbly. Serve along side your favorite pasta or vegetable and enjoy!
*Serves 4 (1 breast each)