Chicken Parm – For Real!!

Last night, I made chicken parmesan.  Surprisingly, I have never made this before.  You have seen a couple hacked ones that I have done, but never made it front to back.  I was originally just going to make some fried chicken and figured “Eh.  What the hell.”  Even when it took three times longer to get home, I went with it.  Honestly, I had texted a friend earlier in the day to invite them to dinner.  They never answered, but I still was hoping they would, so I went ahead with the meal.  I still ended up eating alone, at least it was good 😛

I was originally going to post this tomorrow, but I am so excited about it, I am giving it to you now 🙂  I don’t know if I will be able to post over the weekend, but I think this is hearty enough to hold you over – lol

Ingredients – I tried to take the picture with the chicken breasts, but man, did it look nasty.  I forgot the milk in the picture.  Most of the ingredients are for the chicken.
CP_Ingredients

I pounded the chicken to mostly uniform thickness.  I usually try to make it as thin as the “tail” part of the chicken breast.  I hate thick chicken.  I despise thick chicken!!  Sorry.  To continue, I cut them in half and breaded them.  I use the flour, egg wash, bread crumb method to do this.  I don’t really ever measure these out, but if you think it might not be enough, start breading anyways.  You can always add more, but you can’t save any extra – unless you do the weird thing my brother did and mix all the leftovers together and fry them – yuck.  I fried it just until it was brown.  I didn’t want to cook it through because it would finish in the oven.  Wanna see some pictures of it all?  🙂

CP_BreadingStation CP_Breaded CP_Frying CP_Frying_Flipped
Yes, that is a little piece of chicken in there.  Yes, I ate it.  It was my tester piece…..testing to see if I still liked fried chicken – lol

I slightly undercooked the pasta and mixed it with the sauce.  I have to admit – the can you see in the ingredients photo isn’t what I used.  I actually opened another can a couple days ago and cooked some onion in butter, added the sauce and seasoned to taste.  It was most of the can that was left.  If you like saucy, add more sauce than I did.  My pasta absorbed most of it – lol.  I also threw in some parmesan cheese into the sauce.
CP_Pasta

Put it all in a casserole dish, place the chicken on top and cover with more sauce – so the pasta doesn’t get too dried out.  Covering with some foil will also help if you don’t want any extra sauce.   Or just cover the whole thing in cheeeeeese!  Then just brown it under the broiler to finish it off.
CP_Sauced

Top with cheese – yea, it’s not perfect, but it’ll do.  Honestly, my stuff NEVER ends up like you see all over the web or TV.  I am usually just happy it isn’t a huge mess.  Although, I am usually not presenting it to anyone.  Having the website made me more attentive, though – it’s nice 🙂
CP_Cheesed

I baked mine for about 30 minutes.  It didn’t get all bubbly, but i think that may be because I didn’t have enough sauce and the cheese was low fat.  Still, not bad looking for my first try 😉
CP_Baked

My piece, plated.
CP_Plated

I obviously liked it.  I think the pasta needed some more sauce and a little salt.  The rest?  Mwah.  I always love my fried chicken.  Other people love my fried chicken.  My mother had a policy when we were growing up – anything you want for dinner on your birthday – you got.  Guess what we used to ask for 🙂

Here’s a rough recipe.  It’s full of personal options because that’s how I cook without a recipe.  I do what I feel and I have ingredients for.  Kind of like Cooking with ADD.

2 chicken breasts, cleaned, pounded and cut in half
approx 1 cup bread crumbs
approx 1/3 cup flour
1 egg
approx 2 tbsp milk
Olive oil for frying
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp butter
½ c onions, chopped
10 ounces pasta, slightly undercooked
approx 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Provolone or Mozzarella cheese

For Sauce:
Melt butter in pan or pot.  Add onions.  Cook until almost soft.  Add desired seasoning and cook for a few minutes until fragrant.  Add in crushed tomatoes.  Cook at a simmer to let the flavors meld.  Add additional seasonings to taste.
Alternatively, make sauce as you normally do.  No need to change for this recipe.

For chicken:
Put flour, bread crumbs in separate bowls.  In a third bowl, combine the egg and milk.  If it looks like scrambled eggs, add a little more milk to make it slightly more runny (and if you don’t use milk in your scrambled eggs, you really should.  Try it and thank me later 😉 ).  If you haven’t already, clean the chicken breasts, pound them to an even thickness and cut in half to make two pieces.  Coat in flour, dip in egg and finally bread crumbs.  Move to plate.

Heat oil in a skillet.  Fry just until browned – not necessarily cooked through.  Place on paper towels to drain the oil.  Remember, do not put the chicken into the oil until it is hot.  You may need to add additional oil, but again, wait until the oil is hot.  Don’t over crowd the pan, either.

Tip for pounding:  Place chicken breasts fleshy side up and cover with plastic wrap before pounding.  The fleshy part is easier to thin out and the plastic wrap prevents flying chicken yucks.  I use the same piece and just make sure to put the same side down each time.

For casserole:
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix pasta and sauce together, reserving approx ¾ c. if coating the chicken in sauce.  Otherwise, mix it all in.  Mix in some Parmesan cheese if you desire.  Put into a casserole dish – mine is an Emile Henry dish I won online – not as big as a 9×11, but bigger than 8×8.  Place chicken pieces on top of the pasta.  Put sauce on top of the chicken and pasta if desired.  Top with cheese.  You can top all of the casserole dish if you like or just the chicken pieces.   Bake for approx 25-35 minutes depending on your oven.  I basically bake it until it looks good enough to eat 😀

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