Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

Earlier today, I looked over at John and asked him if he wanted anything in particular for dinner. I should have known his answer would be chicken parmesan. It's his favorite meal of all time. I usually only cook it on his birthday because it can be a pain to cook. This is the end of his week of stay-at-home-vacation so I decided to surprise him and actually make it for dinner tonight. This is a lower-fat (not fried) version.

Chicken Parmesan

3-4 chicken breasts
4-5 pieces of bread (I use a low calorie bread 40 cal per slice)
OR store bought fresh/dried bread crumbs... panko bread crumbs would be stellar!
fresh herbs such as basil & oregano (dried works fine too!)
eggbeaters (real eggs, work just as well)
mozzarella cheese, grated or thinly sliced
cooking spray

Surprisingly it's best to start with frozen chicken breasts for this. Partially thaw them in your microwave using the defrost setting. When it is partially defrosted it is easier to cut the chicken breasts into smaller cutlets. (Cut down the length of the entire breast.) If you have a really sharp knife you can cut each breast into three. Or, cut them into two (that's what I did) and pound them thinner with a meat mallet. I placed each piece of chicken in a heavy zipbag so it wouldn't be messy as I pounded.

In one shallow bowl, pour the eggbeaters or two eggs beaten with a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. Using your food processor (or magic bullet) pulse bread until it is fine bread crumbs. Add herbs.

Pre-heat your oven to 350ยบ and preheat a large non-stick skillet (I used a flat griddle.) Bread chicken by placing in the eggs, then coating with bread crumbs. Make sure your skillet is on medium high heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Place breaded chicken in skillet with plenty of room. If your skillet is small, cook in batches. When chicken starts to brown on one side, flip over and add mozzarella to top. If you are using a small skillet and need to cook in batches, as the chicken pieces finish, place them on a cookie sheet. If you are using a large enough (oven safe) griddle, then place the entire thing in the oven when all chicken has been flipped and topped with cheese. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and cheese has melted. It won't take long since it is cut so thin and has been started on the stove top.

Serve with noodles and marinara sauce.

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