In my quest to cook things outside of my comfort zone, I found the recipe for Rachael Ray's Chicken Parmigiana and naturally, it was awesome! I must admit though, I didn't follow her recipe completely. I used Prego's Roasted Garlic spaghetti sauce instead of making it from scratch (something Sandra Lee would do) and so it turned out "Semi-Homemade"!! (Wonder if I watch way too many Food Channel shows???)
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/4 cup chopped parsley (about a handful)
2 tablespoons chopped oregano (about half a palmful)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 chicken breast cutlets, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided, plus additional
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small, yellow-skinned onion, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen brand
1 cup chopped fresh basil (about 2 handfuls), plus additional for garnish
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Set up three dishes on your countertop: Fill one with the flour, one with the eggs, and the other with a mixture of the breadcrumbs, half the grated cheese, herbs, salt and pepper.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. While the pan is heating up, season the chicken cutlets with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and coat each one in the flour, then in the egg, and lastly in the cheesy breadcrumbs.
Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken cutlets until golden brown and cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side depending on how thick they are. Cook them in two batches, transferring the cooked cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate while the others, adding more oil to the pan between batches if need be.
While the chicken is cooking, place a medium-size pot on the stove over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and chopped onion. Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until the veggies have softened. Add the tomatoes and heat them through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the basil, then season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Layer the chicken with the sauce in a casserole dish. Top the casserole with the remaining grated Parmigiano and mozzarella. Brown the chicken parm casserole under the broiler until the cheese has melted and is lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Garnish with some chopped basil before serving.
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