This past weekend I made one of my favorites, chicken parmesan! But I like to mix it up a bit and try things differently sometimes, and doing so has led me to an interesting twist on chicken parm.
The twist? No mozzarella cheese.
Hey, I like ooey, gooey melted mozzarella like the next dude, but I wanted to try a cheese with a more distinct flavor. Enter Romano, Parmesan, and Asiago cheeses. I use Belgioso salad blend-it comes freshly shaved in a 5oz. container.
The other little twist is panko bread crumbs, Italian seasoned.
Then there is the 18 year aged balsamic vinegar I add to the bottom of the pan before I bake the chicken, which gives it a nice flavor. I prefer the aged balsamic because it has a wonderful taste and unlike most grocery store-bought balsamic, it has natural coloring due to the aging, with no caramel added to make it appear brown. I get mine from my local gourmet olive oil store-you can visit them online at www.theolivecellar.com. Here’s a pic. As you can see, I’m running low. 🙂
Now for the recipe!
Below is a photo of all the ingredients. Of course I forgot something, I always do; this time it was the crushed red pepper and eggs.
– One 5 oz container of Belgioso Romano, Asiago, Parmesan cheese
– One family pack of chicken breast. I use Just Bare because of the lack of hormones and antibiotics. Cut the four pieces in half thickness-wise (i.e., make them thinner). You’ll have 8 thin pieces when done.
– Two eggs (I use Organic Valley with added omega 3…’cause I need the help with my brain)
– Three bottles of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Muir Glen organic marinara with Cabernet wine…’cause I like wine!)
– One 8 oz container of Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs
– Two tbsp fresh grated parmesan cheese (separate from the grated 3 cheeses)
– 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
– One tsp of sea salt, and black pepper (each)
– One box of your favorite pasta
– Serves 6-8
– 45 minutes to cook
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Add cooking oil to a frying pan on medium heat. And boil a large pot of water for the pasta and cook the pasta according to instructions once the water is hot (I’d wait until the chicken is in the oven to cook the pasta). Add two of the three jars of pasta sauce to a large pot on low heat and cover.
Add 4 ozs of panko bread crumbs to a mixing bowl. Then add and mix together the parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to the bread crumbs.
Crack and scramble to two eggs in a separate mixing bowl. Coat the chicken breasts in the egg, then coat in bread crumbs and add to the hot oil for 2 minutes per side.
Drain excess oil from the chicken on a drain rack or paper towel.
When all the chicken in cooked, coat the bottom of an oven roasting pan with 2 Tbsp of the aged balsamic (this is my favorite part). Add the fried chicken breast to the roasting pan then add the sauce from one jar of pasta sauce on top of the chicken, covering it generously.
Pour all that awesome cheese on top of the sauce and chicken!
Cover the chicken with foil and cook for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Cook the chicken uncovered for another 10 minutes.
20 minutes later you have…this! To quote the kiddos, “Nom, Nom, Nom.”
And now for the final taste testers-the twins, Thaddeus and Zoe.
So pumped the kiddos liked it. They usually don’t-picky jokers!
Let me know how it turns out, if you try it.