Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chicken Parmigiana with Pasta

Italian comfort food is one of my favorite cuisines to cook and enjoy. Chicken Parmigiana fits the bill in every way. Tender chicken breasts are coated in Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, lightly fried, and finished in the oven before being topped with oozy fresh mozzarella cheese. I whip up a batch of my red sauce that is tossed with fettuccini, and the chicken perfectly nestles on top of the pasta. It all gets showered with more cheese and fresh basil, and is one impressive family-style dish to serve. Everyone loves this dish!

Chicken Parmigiana with Pasta
Crispy chicken atop red-sauce pasta, it's an Italian comfort food classic!
Serves 6

6 chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness, about 1/2 inch                                                                    
2 T olive oil                                                                       
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping 
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)                                                                    
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. dried Italian herbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk                                                                     
6 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
4 cups marinara sauce
3/4 pound pasta 
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped                                                                    

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.
Set out three bowls. In one bowl combine panko and Parmesan cheese, in another bowl place flour combined with Italian herbs, and in the third bowl beat eggs and milk to combine. Make sure chicken is dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Working with two pieces of chicken at a time coat chicken in flour, then eggs, then in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Gently lay chicken  aside. Once coated, place in pre-heated skillet. You may need to do this in a couple batches.
After 3 minutes turn chicken over to brown the other side. Once chicken is lightly golden brown on each side place on a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack. Bake in oven for 10 minutes until cooked through. Remove chicken from oven and top with a spoonful of tomato sauce and two slices of mozzarella cheese. Return to oven to melt the cheese.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Combine with tomato sauce, basil and pasta and keep warm.
Serve chicken with pasta tossed in tomato sauce and extra Parmesan cheese and basil on top.
Recipe by Sarah Lang

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