Baked Chicken Parmesan

Or if you’re Tom Haverford  Chicky Chicky Parm Parm.

This recipe is adapted from Skinny Taste

Ingredients
2 – Chicken Breasts
3/4c – Italian Bread Crumbs (I used Progresso)
1/4c – Grated Parmesan Cheese (I used the grocery store brand 3-cheese blend)
3-4TBS – Unsalted Butter
1 –  Jar of Spaghetti/Marinara/Pomodoro Sauce (Pick your favorite)
Prep Spray
3/4c – Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1lb (16oz) Pasta (Typically this should be served with spaghetti, but I had penne on hand.)

Tools
Stockpot
Sheetpan
Ramekin/Small Bowl
Basting Brush

Mise en Place:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450F, spray a sheet pan with your prep spray.  These are my new favorites
  2. Melt your butter in the ramekin/small bowl. I used the microwave for this.  
  3. Combine the 3/4c Italian Bread Crumbs and Grated Parmesan Cheese.
  4. Raw Chicken
  5. Ramekin of melted butter and basting brush.
  6. Plate of your cheese/bread crumb mix.
  7. Sheetpan that has been sprayed with prep spray. 

(For more info about Mise en Place see below)

Assembly:

  1. Brush both sides of the raw chicken with melted butter.
  2. Dip the buttered chicken into the breadcrumb mix, making sure it’s coated completely.
  3. Place on your prepped sheetpan. 
  4. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes. 
  5. Flip chicken over and bake for 5 more minutes. 
  6. Using a meat thermometer temp your chicken. Make sure the internal temp is at least 165. 
  7. Spoon a little bit of your pasta sauce over the hot chicken and top with shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  8. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes to melt the cheese. 
  9. Serve over hot pasta.

Let’s talk about how to cook your pasta.

Boil your pasta with salt. 1lb of Pasta (uncooked) with 1TBS of Salt. I use sea salt in everything I make because it’s real.

That’s it, that’s the magic trick to making your $1.17 box of pasta taste like a dream. Boil your salt and water before adding the pasta. Cook to al dente. The term “al dente” is from an Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth.” No one likes mushy pasta. To the tooth means the pasta is tender but firm when you bite it.

I paired this with a green salad and some fresh garlic bread.

Mise en Place

Mise en Place is French for “set in place” or “everything in place.” It might seem stuffy and neurotic to measure everything out and prep everything before you start cooking. In reality it will make you ten times faster and cleaner in the kitchen. When I’m training a new chef, the first two things I teach them are to work clean and stay organized.

I measure my spices out, I make sure the butter is melted. Things like that before I get started. Knowing that I’m going to need two types of sugar and baking powder from the same cupboard, I am much more efficient if I grab all three things at once rather than running around the kitchen making multiple trips for individual ingredients. How many times have you had to stop mid dinner making to go back and chop a veggie, or dig out some more garlic powder from the back of the cupboard?

I do love a good Mise en Place.

Fresh Basil and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Rollatini

I love fresh herbs, I tried growing them myself last summer.. and well I love buying fresh herbs. I don’t exactly have a green thumb. In an effort to shake up the same five meals I find myself making all the time, I got creative. I remembered a pin for spinach and feta stuffed rollatini, and that sounded way good. At least the stuffed part. Feta isn’t my favorite when it comes to soft cheese, but that’s the beauty of rollatini you can pick whatever you want! So I opted for Fresh Basil and Roasted Red Peppers.

In order for the chicken to roll, it has to be very thin. I don’t have a meat tenderizer, so I listened to Tim Gunn and “made it work”.

 I put my chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap. I then proceeded to Tim the Toolman Tenderize it. ( about 1/4″)

Then comes the fun part. Stuffing. I started by spreading about 2T of Chive and Onion Cream Cheese. With a chef knife, I minced my fresh basil and put it on top of the cream cheese. I cut my roasted red peppers into strips. (you can find them by the pickles.) I topped that pile of love with shredded mozzarella. This is when you roll it.

Roll it up like a jelly roll. I secured the ends with tooth picks before dipping it in egg (slightly beaten) and bread crumbs.

Bake at 350° for 40-50mins

I saved half for lunch the next day, turns out it makes an awesome wrap.

So good, I sat on the counter and ate the whole thing.

Baking is completely calculated. I’ve converted a lot of my favorite recipes down to the gram, cooking on the other hand is anything goes. Which makes it it’s own kind of fun. So with something like this, the measurements are more of like ‘guidelines”.

For 1 Chicken Breast

2T Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
4 Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Roasted Red Pepper
A Good Sprinkle Mozzarella

Mom if you’re reading this I actually used a good sprinkle, similar to scosh and a bit. (You’re a really good cook when you can eyeball it. She can. )

1 egg, slightly beaten
Bread Crumbs.

I use the term bread crumbs lightly. I actually couldn’t find bread crumbs at the grocery store. I’m sure they have them, but I was too proud  didn’t want to   ask someone for help. Mostly I was tired and figured I’d look like a dingbat asking where the bread crumbs were in my Chef Whites. So I was logical and bought a bag of croutons. Smashed them with a rolling pin and hey! We have bread crumbs. So just in case you  and siri can’t find them, croutons work.

If you’re cooking for more than one person, I’d add a few minutes to your cook time.

Next up: Mini Key Lime Tarts