Sundays are a very busy day for me. I get up early, prepare something to take to church for breakfast, and then go through the everyday trials of trying to find something that my kids will eat, today (who cares that they liked blueberries, yesterday? Today they hate them. Sigh). I get them dressed and ready to go (the kids, not the blueberries), and pack the bags. We load up the car, head to church, and drop everyone off at the respective nursery rooms and classes. After a busy morning, I collect my kids, re-stuff the car, and head back home. The problem is . . . by the time we get home, it’s late and my family is starving, and I have about 20 minutes to get a meal on the table before we have a major revolution.
This meal is the busy Mom’s friend. It can be thrown together in about 20 minutes, and it makes 2 adult portions from 1 chicken breast. This means that when your kids think “that food must be better because it’s on Mommy’s plate,” you will have plenty to share with them. And you can dream about the day when you will eat your own food. From your own plate. Hey– a girl can dream 😉
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Chicken Parmigiana for Two
(Original to my own madness– feel free to change it up and share it up, but please link back here so no one steals my work 🙂
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut it half horizontally
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup powdered Parmesan Cheese
Pasta and your favorite jarred pasta sauce (about 3/4 jar)
3 tbsp. oil for browning chicken
Mozzerella cheese and fresh basil, if desired, for garnishing
Cut chicken breast in half, horizontally, so that you have 2 thin chicken breasts. Dip each piece of chicken into beaten egg and then dredge in crumb/Parmesan cheese mixture. Brown coated chicken in hot oil until juices run clear. While chicken is cooking, prepare your pasta and pasta sauce according to package directions. When chicken is done, place each piece atop a small dish of pasta with sauce, and top with extra sauce and mozzarella cheese. Serve immediately.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
Have you ever had fried chicken, and the entire “fried part” slips off, in a single piece, and leaves you with a greasy, pale piece of meat with no coating? Eeeewwww. The way to keep your chicken and coating from getting a quick divorce is to use an egg wash.
Egg wash is the marriage counselor of the fried chicken world. It keeps everybody together, through thick and thin 😉
To make an egg wash, take 1 egg and beat it up with about 2 tsp. of water. Congrats– you have made an egg wash!
Next, make your chicken coating. This process is super difficult and takes a degree from NASA to do . . .
Just kidding 😉 Just stir your bread crumbs and parmesan cheese together. Chicken coating . . . done. Look at you– whipping up an egg wash, and now throwing together a homemade crumb coating. You wonder woman, you!
Now for the fun part– let’s start cooking! 🙂 Before I get the chicken going, I like to start cooking my pasta and pasta sauce in 2 separate saucepans. That way, when my chicken is deeeeeelicious and ready to go, my pasta and sauce will be dressed and ready to do the tango with it 🙂
Cut your chicken breast in half, width-wise. This just gives you an extra thin cut and helps the chicken to cook more quickly (which translates to your family stopping the riot just short of tarring and feathering each other, because they’re so hungry). Dip the chicken pieces in the egg wash, then roll them in the crumb mixture.
Place your chicken cutlets in a few tbsp. of vegetable oil heated to medium heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet, because those babies hold the heat like nobody’s business. My favorite cast iron skillet is an enameled Le Creuset (get one here). Those babies are so beautiful, and cook so well . . . that they actually make doing the dishes fun. When my hubby surprised me and got me my very first Le Creuset . . . I figured I’d better keep him. 😉
Cook each side of the chicken for 4-5 minutes, until the coating is golden brown and the chicken is done in the middle. These cutlets are so thin that they don’t take long to cook through– but if you’re not sure, cut into one of them and make sure that you don’t see any pink (but clear juices are OK).
To assemble your chicken parmigiana, scoop some cooked pasta on the plate, then top it with some pasta sauce and a chicken cutlet. You can drizzle a little extra spaghetti sauce on top, if you want, and then sprinkle with a little (OK– enough to feed a small country) cheese. I use a brulee torch (the one I have is here) to give my cheese a little nice and golden brown shimmer. Plus– who doesn’t love to play with a little fire at the table? 😉
Serve up nice big bowls of steaming pasta, delicious, earthy sauce, and oozy, melted cheese.
Sprinkle a little fresh basil or oregano on top. Pour yourself something to drink and swirl some delicious, steaming pasta into your bowl. Inhale the fragrance . . . the fresh herbs, the delicious, crisped chicken . . . the earthy smell of tomatoes and spices.
Could someone please pass the cheese?
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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