Chicken Parmesan with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Friday, March 5, 2010

I don't have a witty intro for this one.  Plain and simple I used the preparation from a favorite Barefoot Contessa Chicken Piccatta recipe, and then modified the second 1/2 of the recipe and went towards Chicken Parm vs. Chicken Piccatta.  It was yummy, and Sydney loved the pasta, which she calls "newls" (instead of noodles) and the chicken ends up with a crunchy exterior much like a crispy chicken finger.  :}

Chicken Parmesan

Here's what I used:

3-4 thin chicken breasts (or you can flatten regular ones with the bottom of a glass or w/ a meat pounder)

In three separate bowls for dredging:

1.  1 1/2 cups AP Flour
     1 tbsp kosher salt
     1/2 tbsp black pepper

2.  2 eggs, beaten
     1 tsp water

3.  2 cups italian bread crumbs

2/3 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin rounds
2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 box whole wheat spaghetti
1 jar good pasta sauce (I used a sweet basil variety that we like)

Here's what I did:

The first step of this recipe is prep. 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Wash and rinse chicken breasts, and then pat dry.  If you have regular chicken breasts (not thin), an easy way to flatten them is to put each breast into a large ziplock bag, or between saran wrap, and pound them flat with the flat bottom of a drinking glass or with a meat pounder device until the reach about 1/8" thick.

Set up the dredging stations as well, using three shallow bowls for the Flour, Egg Mixture and Bread Crumbs, in that order.

At this time I also set a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Once the chicken is prepped, dredge each piece in the flour, egg mixture and then bread crumbs.  Make sure that they are evenly coated and that no flour is showing through.  If there are spots that did not coat, redredge in egg and breadcrumbs until completely covered. 

In a non-stick skillet, brown chicken breasts for 2-3 minutes per side on medium heat with 2-3 tbsp of olive oil, or until just golden brown, and then set aside on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  I usually make enough for two skillets worth of chicken, so in between, I put my first batch in the oven, while the second batch cooks.  Once all chicken has been browned, add 2 mozzarella slices to the top of each chicken breast, and cook until cheese has melted and just started to brown on top.

Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente and warm up your pasta sauce.

I plated about 1 cup of pasta alongside each chicken breast and topped with the sauce.  Sydney LOVED this, Nick loved it, and I really like it.  I usually shy away from recipes with pasta or breaded chicken, but this was healthy and the portions were perfect.  We also have leftovers.  You can easily reheat the chicken breasts in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350 for about 5 minutes.


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