Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ridiculously Easy, Lighter Chicken Parm

I apologize for the cheesy basil garnish.... :)
Chicken Parm can be messed up.  It can.

Ever had a reeeaally thick chicken breast, with a heavy, soggy breading and a thick, chewy covering of cheese?  Yeah....  not my favorite.  We made this version last week, and it was awesome - just the right amount of tender chicken, crisp breading, a taste of cheese and bright sauce in each bite.  This was so light, and we all really enjoyed it.   

Ridiculously Easy, Lighter Chicken Parm

 2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half for 4-6 thin cutlets
EVOO to mist or brush onto chicken (you can also melt some butter and brush that on - about 2 tbsp. or so)
your favorite marinara sauce (1-2 c. )
grated parm for garnish if you like - or if you need more cheese, mozzarella or provolone
fresh herbs for garnish if you like, minced

For the breading:
1/2 - 3/4 c. breadcrumbs (make your own, use store-bought, Panko, whatever)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (NOT garlic salt!)
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning (or mix up your own from the ol' dried spices collection)
couple grinds of pepper
pinch of salt
teeny pinch of cayenne pepper if you like

We like the chicken very thin -maybe 1/2".
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, set aside.  Start boiling some water for your noodles.  Mix up the breading ingredients in a shallow dish.  Grab your chicken, and spritz with a little EVOO on each side.  Then dredge (dip/coat/cover/you get it) in the dry breadcrumb mixture on each side, and place on the foil-lined sheet.  Spritz the breasts again with a little EVOO, then stick the tray in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then check on your chicken, and flip to brown the other side, or just leave 'em alone. 

Heat up your marinara sauce.  Cook your noodles according to the box, drain, and set aside.  If you like lots of cheese, lay a slice of fresh mozzarella or provolone on top of each chicken piece, and heat until bubbly and golden. When the juices run clear/temp measures safe for poultry, then pull out the chicken, and plate it on a bed of noodles, or without.    Spoon a little sauce over top, garnish with fresh basil or parsley, and you're ready to rock!  Serve over pasta, or skip it if you prefer.

*To prep for a freezer meal, bread the chicken breasts, place them on a shallow disposable foil baking sheet, and wrap with foil.  Include a packet or jar of sauce and some noodles if you like.   The chicken can be thawed in the fridge, and then prepped as directed above. 

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