I feel like most of my cooking lately has been all about the classics. And making them really good. Or really easy. Either way, there is not a whole lot of creativity happening here, just my versions of foods we all love made simply and deliciously. Chicken Parm is classic American Italian and because everyone loves it, I made it for a dinner party last weekend. I also made it in advance, which is HUGE in my world right now. Little people are not the best sous chefs, so putting this together during nap time was essential. And it was great. Make this before you serve or even the day before, explanation below. Also, I use a ton of help from the store on this to save time. If you are not into saving time then feel free to whip up your own tomato sauce or bread crumbs. I envy you. This recipe is very "as you go" so you cannot mess it up, I promise you. Try it and you will rock it.
(How bad are my photos lately? Lighting is everything and obviously my kitchen is not great)
Imperfect Polish 2015
serves 6-8 (make more or less and just adjust ingredient amounts)
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup of flour
salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried rosemary
8 thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts (if your store does not carry this, you can buy 3 lbs of chicken and do this)
2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce (I like San Marzano)
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Place the bread crumbs, eggs, and flour in their own shallow bowl or plate. Season each with salt, pepper, a couple of pinches of oregano and rosemary.
Dredge each chicken piece in the flour, shaking off the excess. Then coat in the egg, then place in the bread crumbs to coat well. Place on a cooling rack or parchment lined tray. Repeat with all of the chicken.
Place a large skillet on the stove with enough olive oil to coat the bottom well and a couple of pats of butter over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, cook the chicken in batches until golden brown on each side and cooked through. About 3-4 minutes a side. Place the cooked chicken on a cooling rack. If working with a lot of chicken, you can also do this in multiple pans. Change out the oil/butter of each pan after 2-3 rounds of chicken in it.
(Make Ahead Note: you can make the chicken in advance, let cool, and place in the fridge until ready to assemble and bake the entire dish. Can be done up to two days before)
In a large roasting pan (you might need two), spread a thick layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Layer the chicken along the top and sprinkle with the mozzarella and provolone cheese. Dot a bit more sauce around the edges of the chicken and on the top, then sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
(Make Ahead Note: You can assemble this a couple hours before your event and bake off when ready. This can also be frozen at this point and then thawed a baked when you want it. If bringing this to a friend, stop at this point as well and have them bake off when ready to eat)
Place the pan in a 400 degree oven and bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 20 minutes.