6 hours ago
Friday, August 28, 2009
My little brother came for a visit this week. I'd promised to pick up chicken parmigiana sandwiches from this great little Italian restaurant near the library the day he got home, but they were closed! Indefinitely! Until further notice! We were all very sad (especially the guys, because they're not crazy about udon noodles, which was the replacement dinner), so the next night we put on some tunes (Gogol Bordello -- his choice) and I put on my apron and got cooking.
I learned to make chicken parmigiana from my friend M.E., and it was one of our comfort meals the year we shared a duplex while our husbands were in Iraq. The secret is to pound the chicken very thin. You can easily substitute eggplant slices for the chicken, and make sure you make enough to have leftovers -- this is delicious the next day.
2-3 chicken breasts
1 c breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1 jar marinara sauce (unless you're really awesome and make your own)
provolone or mozzarella cheese
2-3 T olive oil
spaghetti or sandwich rolls
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're serving this over spaghetti, go ahead and start the water boiling. Prepare the chicken while the spaghetti cooks.
Working with one breast at a time, cover the chicken with plastic wrap or place it in a ziploc bag. Pound it flat using a meat mallet (or a rolling pin, if you don't have a mallet). Cut the breast into 2-3 pieces and salt and pepper both sides.
Put the breadcrumbs on a plate, then press the chicken pieces into the crumbs and cover them well. Meanwhile, pour enough olive oil in a heavy skillet to cover the bottom and heat over medium-high heat.
Saute the chicken in the oil, removing when the breadcrumbs are crispy and brown and the chicken is cooked about 3/4 of the way through. You might have to cook the chicken in two batches to avoid crowding the skillet.
Pour about a cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, then place the chicken in the dish. Pour another cup of sauce over the chicken, then top with slices of cheese. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the cheese is melted. Serve on toasted sandwich rolls or with spaghetti.