Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

My friend Shea at Dixie Chik Cooks recently posted chicken parmesan that looked good enough to make me cry. I mean, it looked AMAZING! You know what happened after that? I looked around, realized I had the needed ingredients on hand, and decided it was time to get my fry on. Yes, I said fry. This recipe is the real deal, so Google low-fat chicken parmesan if you can't take the heat... or grease... or sheer deliciousness. For the rest of you, make this. It's fast, easy, and so worth the judgment of those who think frying is out of style.

Chicken Parmesan

2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 eggs, whisked
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup canola oil
8 oz. whole milk mozzarella, sliced
12 oz. pasta
Pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash chicken, and pat dry. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
Dip chicken in egg, then breadcrumbs, and set aside.

Add chicken to hot oil, cooking 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Place chicken on baking pan, and top with sauce and cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted, and chicken is done.

Serve with pasta.

Note: I followed this recipe exactly the first time I made this, and it went perfectly. The second time, the one I photographed, I flattened and cut the chicken to make smaller portions. Conclusion? Smaller portions are for losers, and I'm going back to the original. Anyway, this explains why you'll see some crazy flattening/slicing steps that aren't in the recipe.

Whole milk mozzarella produces endorphins. I don't have any "official" research to back my conclusion, but I've done some real life testing over the years, and trust me: whole milk mozzarella produces endorphins. I sliced the cheese on the Large Grooved Cutting Board with the Cheese Knife, measured the bread crumbs into an Easy Read Measuring Cup, and whisked the eggs in the Small Batter Bowl using the Stainless Mini Whisk.

Ah, the Large Grooved Cutting Board, the Meat Tenderizer, and a sheet of plastic wrap. These three combine to make a mean chicken-flattening station, a place where no thick breast stands a chance. The Meat Tenderizer is one of those things I don't use every day, but when I need it, I can't imagine anything working better. The little thing on the bottom has two sides, the flat one for, well, flattening... and the pointy one for tenderizing. This is a perfect example of why I love the skid-resistant sides of the Large Cutting Board! P.S. Watch your fingers 'cause this thing is like a hammer!

I wanted even more Italian in my breadcrumbs, so I added some Italian Seasoning Mix from the Pampered Pantry. I also added some Salt and Pepper using the Bamboo Grinder Stand Set.

Raw chicken breasts started my love affair with the Forged Cutlery Collection. When I got the 5" Utility in the Consultant Kit, I cut chicken with it and realized it was possible to cut meat without sawing. Raw meat. Then I immediately ordered the 5" Santoku, shown here, and it became my favorite knife ever. Notice the clean cut in the last chicken breast. One slice, people! The Cake Pans are awesome for dipping things in bread crumb mixtures, and you can also use them to bake cakes.

Fry, baby, fry! Sometimes there's no better feeling than watching breading turn golden brown while listening to the pop, sizzle, sizzle of canola. To keep myself out of harm's way, I'm using my Chef's Tongs. These are perfect for frying because they're long enough to keep you from popping grease, and they prevent potential breading loss disasters sometimes caused by spatulas. Chicken is in the 10-Inch Skillet, and my sauce is in the 1.5-Qt. Saucepan. Yes, I have the Classic Scraper soaking in tomato-based sauce. No, it's not going to turn red forever.

I cooked my linguine in the 8-Qt. Stockpot from the Executive Cookware Collection, and I drained it in the large colander from the Colander & Bowl Set. Action shot. Hey, take a look at the Chef's Tongs on the Spoon Rest. See how they clip shut so you don't have open tongs all over the place?

Test the chicken to make sure it's 165 degrees, and then eat it! The Digital Pocket Thermometer will keep you from drying meat out while making sure it's safe to consume. I used the Large Bar Pan for the oven step of this recipe, and of course I put in on a Cooling Rack when it came out.

This meal is one of my new favorites, and I'm looking for an excuse to make it again soon. Anyone want to come over for dinner?

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