If you were to visit our home today, you’d find Brennan’s toys scattered all over, ‘Super Why’ playing over and over (hence the reason why the theme song drums into my mind ceaselessly), and my hiney’s imprint perfectly implanted on our couch. Shots of energy and motivation, that’s what I need. Got any?
The baby counter says there are only 33 days left until Skittles’ due date. That makes me hyperventilate a tad, especially with the intensity and frequency of Braxton Hicks contractions I’m experiencing while my mind whirls with to-dos and my body collapses at every opportunity.
Since I’m sunk into the comfiness of the couch, I thought I’d share with you a favorite recipe that appears regularly on our household dinner plates: Chicken Parmesan.
Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite dating back to my brother’s teen years as his most requested meal for special occasions other than homemade chile rellenos. Once Matt vowed to love and honor me till death do us part, he claimed it as one of his favorites, too.
Here’s a before glimpse of Matt’s plate on his 30th birthday a few years ago:
And the aftermath:
Focus on the plates, not the people <grin>. Food. All. Gone.
Are you ready? Here it goes:
(Courtesy of my Momma)
- 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- garlic powder, salt, pepper, for taste
- 3 TBSP butter
- 3 TBSP canola oil
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- dried parsley, for flavor
- Marinara sauce (I like “Newman’s Own” brand)
- splash of red wine
- 4 slices of mozzarella cheese
- 4 chicken breast halves
I play with the ingredients very liberally to get the taste I’m going for, usually adding more Parmesan cheese, seasonings, and oil and butter as needed for browning the chicken and sautéing the mushrooms.
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. In another bowl, beat the two eggs and add the seasonings (salt, pepper and garlic powder), mixing together. Preheat a pan or skillet on low-medium heat, adding butter and oil, spreading it all around. Coat the chicken in the egg mixture and then dip immediately into the breadcrumb mixture coating thoroughly on both sides of the chicken. Place the chicken in the skillet and brown both sides, adding more butter and oil as necessary. Once browned on both sides, put into a lightly greased 8x8 inch pan.
Add a bit more butter and oil to the skillet and add the sliced mushrooms. Add more garlic powder, parsley, and the splash of red wine to sauté until soft.
Spread the mushrooms on top of the 4 chicken breasts then add slices of Mozzarella on top. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese and then pour the marinara sauce on top of the chicken. Sometimes I buy an extra jar of sauce to make sure the chicken is thoroughly covered, and then I use any leftover sauce for mini-homemade pizzas.
Bake chicken in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (I made this for Father’s Day and seem to have a problem with uncooked chicken and had to bake it some more.) <grin>
Chicken Parmesan isn’t complete without a salad with all of the fixin’s and garlic bread. Let me share some more family secrets. First, our favorite goodies to put in a salad:
- a mix of lettuce like red leaf, green leaf, and butter lettuce
- green onions
- red bell pepper, or roasted red bell pepper
- chopped artichoke hearts
- avocado, DEFINITELY avocado
- maybe some blue cheese or feta
- sunflower seeds
- for Italian dressing, our favorite is the dried package of Zesty Italian made with balsamic vinegar
Second: garlic bread. Oh, this just ain’t any old garlic bread.
- Mix a softened stick of butter with a good amount of grated Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder. If you get a good whiff of it and smell mostly garlic and Parmesan cheese, then it should be ready <grin>.
- Make 1/2 slices in a loaf of fresh French bread. Don’t cut all the way through, just barely to the bottom of the loaf.
- Spread the butter mixture in between each slice. Give it a good slather, and any extra butter, spread gently on top of the whole loaf.
- Wrap the loaf in foil and heat for 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
It’ll be some of the best garlic bread you’ve ever had, I promise.
Matt’s response to me when I told him I was writing a post on our Chicken Parmesan recipe, with a big grin, he asked, “You wanna share that with the world!? That’s just ours!”
I’m in a giving spirit at the moment, so consider yourself blessed <grin>.