Chicken Parmesan

I went with the family to visit my sister(and meet my new nephew!) in Maryland over the holidays, and it turns out my brother-in-law’s favorite dish is Chicken Parm, so my mom thought it’d be nice if I cooked it up, and it turned out great!  Any time there’s no leftovers you know you did a good job.

Beautiful Photos by Tim Kern (Breading Process)
Beautiful Photos by Tim Kern (Breading Process)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1x1lb – package chicken tenderloins
  • 1x1lb – package pounded chicken breasts
  • 1-2 Cups – Wheat Flour
  • 2 TBS – Salt (around 1/4 Cup)
  • 1 TBS – Black Pepper
  • 1-2 Cups – Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 2 – Eggs
  • 1TBS – Milk
  • 2×1/2 Cup – Grated Parmagiano Regiano (or any Parmesan totaling to 1 cup)
  • 8-10 – Slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • A lot – Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • 2 Jars – Pasta Sauce (We used 1 Vodka, 1 Tomato Basil Bertolli Brand)
  • 1 Package – Angel Hair Pasta
  • 2-3 TBS – Butter
  • 2 TBS – Minced Parsley Leaves (fresh if you got it!)
  • 2 TBS – Minced Marjoram Leaves
An elusive photo of me breading chicken, PHOTO BY TIM KERN
An elusive photo of me breading chicken, PHOTO BY TIM KERN

RECIPE

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. In 3 separate dishes, get your flour, eggs, and bread crumbs
  3. Add the salt and pepper to the flour, stir to combine
  4. Add the milk to the eggs, and whisk them until they’re all combined
  5. Add 1 of the 1/2 cups of cheese to the bread crumbs, stir to combine
  6. Now the sticky part, dredge your chicken breasts in the flour, shake off excess, then dredge them in the egg wash, and finely into the bread crumbs.  Make sure each piece is evenly coated, then shake off any excess and place them on a sheet pan.  Set aside and wash your hands
  7. *NOTE* To avoid ending up with bread hand, you can:
    A. Use gloves
    B.  Wash your hands every couple dredges
    C.  Use one hand to do the flour and bread crumb dredging, and the other hand to do the eggwash dredge
  8. Combine your two jars of pasta sauce in a large pot, bring to a simmer, cover
  9. In a large saute pan, fill up about 1/2″ of oil
  10. Set your pan to medium-high heat, it should take about 3 minutes to come up to heat
  11. Place in your chicken tenderloins, but don’t put them all in at the same time or you’ll lower the temperature of the oil, work in batches.  Fry for 3-4 mins per side, until just golden brown, then set aside on a clean sheet pan(cut the biggest one in half, it should still be a bit raw in the center, but only in the center

    Frying up chicken parm PHOTO BY TIM KERN
    Frying up chicken parm PHOTO BY TIM KERN
  12. In an ungreased baking dish, ladle in enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish, then make a layer of the chicken tenderloins.  Then another layer of sauce, then a layer of the pounded chicken breasts with just a bit of sauce ladled over the center of them in a line so there are still crunchy parts exposed.  Top it all with the grated Parmagiano Reggiano and mozzarella slices
  13. Place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is starting to get brown and bubbly
  14. While it’s in the oven, bring a large pot of water to a boil
  15. Add your pasta, return to a boil, cook for 5-7 minutes until al dente, drain
  16. Toss the pasta with butter, parsley, and marjoram
  17. Put the pasta in a bowl, and when the chicken comes out of the oven use a spatula to break the cheesy crust, and cover your pasta with sauce and chicken and cheesy goodness!
Not my best plating, but tasty!  PHOTO BY TIM KERN
Not my best plating, but tasty! PHOTO BY TIM KERN

This is a fun easy family night dinner.  It’s not a fast one, but it’s really not too labor intensive, and it involves getting your hands dirty which I, at least, consider quite fun.  Kids love it, and it’s something that always tastes better when you do it yourself.  I find whenever I get chicken parm at a restaurant or to-go it’s usually undercooked oversauced noodles with a dry over-fried piece of cardboard meat.  When yo do it at home, you’re going to end up with juicy crunchy well seasoned chicken, a sauce that you control (we sauteed garlic, onions, and mushrooms in some olive oil before adding the jars of sauce), you can also cook the noodles however you want, and you can use whatever noodles you want.  I personally don’t like penne pasta for much more than pasta salads, but for some reason it always ends up being the noodle in my chicken parm at restaurants, so I was really happy when we had angel hair!  Anyways, that was a tangent, and you’re ready to get cooking, so stop reading and get in the kitchen!

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