Chicken Parmesan or Parmigiana or Whatever

Hey guys! I know it’s been like 9 years since I last blogged, but I was on vacation.  I’m sure you understand.  And if you don’t, well here, how ’bout this recipe?  Will that make you feel better?  Because this filled me with happiness last night, and I’m all about spreading joy.  In fact, that was my nickname in high school: The Joy Spreader.  Wait…that sounds really weird, huh?  And maybe even a little wrong.  Good thing that wasn’t REALLY my nickname.  My for real nickname was Chandra the Destroyer, because, well….let’s face it.  I’ve always been kind of a bad ass.

Anyway.  Let’s talk about Italian food now.

Yum.  You know what’s great about this recipe, besides the fact that it’s delicious?  It’s really easy to make!  Here’s what you need:

You need about 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flour, bread crumbs (not pictured because I am a nitwit), salt, pepper, parsley, spaghetti sauce, red or white wine, onion, garlic, basil, and parmesan or mozzarella cheese (or both if you’re a cheese junkie like me).  Oh, and a little oil and butter for frying.

Go ahead and get a pot of water boiling for the pasta; you’re going to want that at the end.  Trust me on this, my friends.  While that’s heating, grab your breasts….uh, your CHICKEN breasts, and put them in a plastic bag.  We need to flatten them to about a 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick, and we do this by violently pounding the crap out of them with a mallet or a rolling pin.

BAM! SMACK! WHACK!  I find it to be very cathartic to violently pound the crap out of chicken.  Call me crazy.

Once you’ve got them all flattened, put them on a plate and set them aside.  Get your breading mixture ready by dumping some flour, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper onto another plate.  I have no exact measurements here; I just dump away until it looks right.  Hope that helps.

Now grab one of the chicken breasts and salt and pepper one side of it; don’t be stingy with the pepper, either.  Lay that side into the flour mixture, then salt and pepper the other side of the chicken and flip it into the flour.  You want a nice even coat of flour on both sides of the chicken.

Oh, I almost forgot.  You need to heat some oil and butter in a large skillet so you can just plop the chicken in it as soon as it’s breaded.  Make sure the oil/butter is nice and hot and sizzly before you put the chicken in so it gives it a crispy, golden coating.

This will cook for several minutes on the first side, then just flip it over to brown the other side.

Mmmm….my house smelled so good at that point.  I wish I could share that with y’all.  Hey, wouldn’t that be kind of cool?  If you could smell stuff through your computer?  Hmm.  I should try to invent that somehow.  I’m very technologically and scientifically minded; I’m sure I could do it.

Anyway.

While the chicken is cooking, chop up your onion and garlic, cause those are going in the skillet next.  And you can set your basil leaves out too if you feel a splash of color is needed on the cutting board.

Once the chicken is all cooked, set it aside, and toss the onions and garlic into the skillet with all the leftover melty butter and chicken bits.  Sautee this for a little bit until it starts to soften, then add the wine.

This also smelled really good.  Go ahead…lean toward your screen and inhale deeply.  Imagine the scent of cooking onions, garlic, butter, and wine.  (Note: While I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve also been writing a program that would allow people to smell through their computers.  I call it the Web Smeller Deluxe, and you’ll probably be able to find it in Best Buy and other fine retailers in a few weeks. Just FYI.)

Anyway.

Let this simmer for a few minutes, then add in your marinara sauce, parsley, and a little more salt and pepper.  This sauce mixture also needs to simmer for a few more minutes.  This is how flavors come together, people.

Go ahead and throw in some grated Parmesan cheese while you’re at it.

Mix this around so the cheese gets all melty-like, then lay the chicken breasts on top of the sauce, topping each one with a basil leaf.

We’re almost done.  We just need more cheese.  I told you I was a cheese junkie.  Pile some shredded mozzarella or Parmesan (or both!) on top of each piece of chicken, like this:

Turn the heat to very low, and put a lid on it.  This will make the cheese melt faster, which means you get to eat it faster.  Meanwhile, grab a plate and put some of that pasta  you cooked earlier on it, and set it aside.  Things are gonna get real good in a second here.  The cheese should be melted by now, so go ahead and grab a piece of chicken, put it on the pasta, ladle on some sauce, and you got yourself a real fine meal. A REAL FINE MEAL, I tell ya.

Chicken Parm
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 jars of pasta sauce
1/2 – 3/4 c. dry white or red wine
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
fresh basil
1 c. flour
1/2 c. bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 tsp. parsley
mozzarella and Parmesan
butter and oil for frying

Flatten chicken breasts to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick; set aside.  Mix flour, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper on a plate.  Salt and pepper chicken breasts, then coat them in the flour mixture.  Heat oil and butter in a large skillet.  When very hot, add chicken, cooking until golden brown on each side.  Set aside.  Add onions and garlic to the skillet; sautee until starting to soften.  Add wine and simmer for a few minutes.  Add pasta sauce, parsley, and a small handful of shredded cheese.  Stir and simmer until cheese is melted.  Lay cooked chicken breasts in the sauce, then top with basil leaves and shredded cheese.  Cover and leave on low heat until cheese is melted.  Serve with pasta.  Congratulate yourself on making something so tasty, then stuff your face.

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