Italian food is one of my vices. I love the sauce, the pasta and the bread. The main problem is that my favorite recipe chicken Parmesan takes a while to cook, it requires a full chicken breast per person. Doesn’t seem like that big of a problem, but when you start cooking a bunch and half of your guests only eat 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken because they don’t require a full chicken breast along with salad, pasta and bread then it starts to become a waste. Plus, pounding out 6-8 chicken breasts can be quite burdensome. So I decided to make everything a little bit easier. Bite sized chicken pieces that can be scooped out so that everyone gets only as much as they want. Saves on time, saves on money and makes everyone just a little bit happier.
I topped this concoction with strips of mozzarella cheese that were broiled to melt perfectly over the whole dish.
Quick and Easy Chicken Parmesan – Feeds 3-4
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 1 egg
- 1 cup breadcrumbs – (Italian preferred)
- To make Italian bread crumbs combine the following with 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 3-5 tbs vegetable oil
- 4 cups favorite pasta sauce – (here is a quick Marinara)
- 6-8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 lb pasta – (any shape or cut will do)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
The first step is to start water boiling for your pasta. Cook your pasta to al dente or your favorite doneness. I am not gonna judge if you like it falling apart. Eating and cooking are a very personal experience and you should cook to your own personal preference.
The first step is to dice the chicken up into cubes. You can use either breasts or tenders to do this. I usually shop around, either strips or tenders are always on sale somewhere. Once the strips are diced, season with salt and pepper.
Crack an egg into a 1 gallon zip top bag. Zip the bag and scramble the egg. When scrambled, add the diced chicken and mix well.
At this point you need to make a decision. Do you want to use another zip top bag and use 1 cup of bread crumbs or use the same zip top bag and use 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs. I chose to use a separate bag as I only had one cup of bread crumbs. Since the other bag had the egg in it, the bread crumbs stick to the side of the bag instead of right to the chicken. For this reason it takes more bread crumbs. Up to you, both make perfectly breaded chicken pieces.
In a large oven-safe skillet add 3 tbs of vegetable oil and preheat the pan to medium/high. Once heated dump the chicken into the pan. Cook until the chicken is browned and cooked all the way through. You may need to add a bit more oil to the pan if it is absorbed too quickly. This should take 6-8 minutes. You can check the chicken by breaking one of the cubes in half to see if it is cooked all the way through.
After you have determined that the chicken is fully cooked add the tomato sauce to the pan. Turn the pan down to low/medium heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Just until the sauce is heated through.
While the sauce is simmering, move your oven rack to about 6 inches from the broiler and turn the broiled on high to pre-heat.
Top the pan with mozzarella cheese (shredded or slices) and place under the broiler. Broil until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Roughly 2-3 minutes.
Serve over pasta for a quick and easy dish.
This dish speeds up the process with a single dish and further allows for better portion control. No need to purchase so much chicken that may go to waste. Granted this is not exactly Chicken Parmesan, but it gets the same flavors across in a faster and cheaper manner. Let me know what you think?