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!

For 12 people (and next-day lunch!), I made two of these trays...
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!  

Chicken Parmesan 
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
Olive oil
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…)

No comments:

Post a Comment