Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Chris is very predictable when it comes to ordering from a restaurant.  O'Charley's - Chicken Tenders, Red Lobster - Popcorn Shrimp, Applebee's - Boneless BBQ Wings, Any Italian Restaurant - Chicken Parmesan.  Sadly, I've yet to find a recipe for chicken parmesan at home that I'm satisfied with.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I refuse to fry the chicken and let's face it...fried stuff just tastes better!  This one sounded promising and has been the best one that I've made in the nearly 6 years I've been trying...but still not as good as the restaurants.  Perhaps one day I'll just break down and do a fried version.  I used the marinara that I made over the weekend and it was gooooood.

Chicken Parmesan
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Photo Credit: Annie's Eats

  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (I only had regular Italian style breadcrumbs on hand but I still toasted them...I KNOW the panko would have been better!)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 large egg whites (I used 1 whole egg out of laziness...seemed to work fine)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut into halves (4 pieces total)
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, warmed
  • about 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat until golden, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and allow to cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
  3. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish whisk together the egg whites and water.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each chicken piece in the flour to coat completely, shaking off the excess. Then dip into the egg whites and finally coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Press on the breadcrumbs to make sure they adhere. Place the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce over the top of each piece of chicken and top with 2 tablespoons of the shredded mozzarella.
  7. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and serve as desired, with extra Parmesan and marinara sauce.
Source: Cook's Illustrated, October 2006 as seen on Annie's Eats

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