Friday, July 26, 2013

Baked Chicken Parm

Awhile back, I mentioned that I made Baked Chicken Parmesan when my friend Jessica came to visit.

I've also made it a WHOLE LOT few more times since then, so I'm excited about sharing it here on the blog!

I love traditional chicken parmesan when I go out to eat, but I don't always love eating fried food. Enter in this baked version that I personally believe is just as fulfilling (okay, let's be honest...MORE fulfilling) as the fried version.

PAUSE: I've literally JUST returned from a work trip, and my mind is mush right now. Example? I keep typing "friend" instead of "fried." I love friend food; not always fried food though. I felt the need to clarify JUST IN CASE it happens again -- along with any other typos that may occur in this post!!!! =)

The trick is to cut the chicken in half lengthwise before you prep and bake it. Smaller portions mean you'll notice- I mean - have room for enjoy more of the other stuff on your dessert, am I right? Of course I am. Everybody loves dessert ;)

I also use whole-wheat pasta to lighten this dish up. If you've never had whole wheat pasta, it has a slightly grainy texture comparatively. It may be an adjustment, but after just one or two tries I really didn't notice the difference anymore. Now I don't even miss the other stuff.

Some people are awesome and make their own spaghetti sauce, but I'm even more awesome and I use the good stuff out of the jar. It's especially helpful when you're VERY hungry and have a strong desire to eat RIGHT THEN, as I usually tend to be around supper time. I usually use either marinara (YUM) or traditional, but use whatever type of spaghetti sauce your heart desires - I wouldn't recommend Alfredo, though.

It's so fancy, yet so easy.

Let me know if you make this - I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Baked Chicken Parmesan
Adapted from Skinnytaste - Serves 2-4

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (or more, if that's your thing)
2 tbsp butter, melted
Italian seasoning, to taste (I use Chef Paul's)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce of choice (marinara works great)
A few sprinkles of part-skim mozzarella cheese (about a tsp per chicken half)
Whole wheat spaghetti noodles

Prep: Preheat oven to 450. Cook pasta al dente and set aside. Melt butter, and in a separate bowl mix breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making 4 pieces of chicken. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray to prevent any sticking.

Lightly brush butter onto each side of chicken pieces, the dip chicken into the breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. Place each slice of chicken onto a sprayed baking sheet, the sprinkle the top of each with Italian seasoning.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, then flip chicken over and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon about a tablespoon of sauce (or a little more, if you're like me and like sauce!) onto each piece, then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Let it bake in the oven until cheese is completely melted.

To plate, place your cooked pasta onto the center of the plate, and spoon over with spaghetti sauce. Place one piece of chicken on top and add just a dash more of Italian seasoning.

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