|For 12 people (and next-day lunch!), I made two of these trays...|
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Sunday Dinners: Chicken Parmesan (Posted on a Thursday!)
And now it's 2013~ I apologize for the break--but am back now!
After what felt like days and days of cooking and eating (Christmas Eve sit down dinner for 32, breakfast for 24, Christmas Day dinner for 24+--and on and on until last weekend, when most of the 13 people in my home left!), for some crazy reason, I started craving chicken parmesan. Funny thing is, it wasn’t until Sunday, which, okay, was also my birthday, that I realized how quickly I could make it!
I guess it was the combination of cheese, tomato, breadcrumbs and chicken that I craved…but there’s something (for those of us who eat those things!) that’s so comforting about it. I had some sauce still left from the previous Tuesday—and ran to shop early Sunday. So, when I arrived home on Sunday eve at 5:30 ish (after a GREAT Broadway-preview play: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof –but that is a different story!), I could “throw it together” relatively quickly!
Here, my friends, is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it!
Serves 12 to 15
Four pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves or tenders
3 cups fresh breadcrumbs (I buy mine from a local bakery---but you can use Italian bread ground in a food processor)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup (about) all purpose, unbleached flour
4 cups tomato sauce (I use sauce I make--with and without sausage; excellent quality sauce is key….)
3 cups sliced well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella (you can, of course, vary the amount according to what you like!)
Fresh chopped basil leaves (optional)
Place chicken breast halves and/or tenders between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin (or meat mallet), pound chicken breasts to 1/3-inch thickness.
Mix the bread crumbs with about 2 tablespoons of parsley, and the same of grated Parmesan cheese.
Set up the batter: I use Pyrex pie dishes (They’re the perfect deepness and size!) Spread the flour into one of them. Whisk the eggs together and pour into one of the dishes; spread breadcrumbs on the other. Coat both sides of chicken with flour, then eggs, then the breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed (chicken will not be cooked through). Transfer the chicken to platter. Spread about 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of two baking dishes. Arrange 1 layer of chicken over the sauce in each pan. Spoon about 2 cups of sauce on top. Add the mozzarella. Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley (and/or basil) and more Parmesan or Pecorino Romano as desired. Serve immediately. (And, if you have any left over, this makes a GREAT next-day sandwich…)