All this cooking definitely trashed the kitchen, especially because of my super quick whirlwind technique. That's okay. It was well worth it for this tasty dinner. Plus, I have lunch for tomorrow, which promises to be another rainy day. The clean up wasn't so bad thanks to some good conversation...
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Johnnycakes and I are still blown away by the insane chicken parm I made for dinner on the fly tonight! It was damn good! I call this meal Insane Chicken Parm, because it was insane I even had the energy and stamina to whip this meal up solo on a weeknight and it was insanely delicious! I think I was possessed because I can't take much credit for it.
I had set out some chicken thighs to defrost while we were at work but I hadn't really thought much about what to make with them before 4:30 p.m. It's been cold and rainy here in Baltimore and I was struck with a desire for something warm and filling (i.e. comfort food). That's when chicken Parmesan popped into my head. The funny thing is, I would never order this meal at a restaurant because I find the dish to generally lack flavor.
I whipped this meal up like a mad woman in the kitchen in about 45 minutes after a trip to the gym. Johnnycakes had been to a work happy hour and wasn't hungry and was entertaining our neighbor while I cooked.
Insane Chicken Parm
4 medium chicken thighs
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of oil ( I mixed olive oil and canola oil to conserve)
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
Flour for dusting
1 16 oz. box of whole wheat penne pasta
Not So Insane Pasta Sauce
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
6 medium white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar commercial pasta sauce
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan. Heat water until boiling for pasta. Prepare pasta as directed on the box.
Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Coat the chicken thighs in egg and then dust the wet chicken thighs with flour. After coated with flour, dredge the chicken thighs in the bread crumb mixture until thoroughly covered. Lay the chicken thighs flat in the hot oil. Fry for about 15 minutes on each side until browned and crispy and thoroughly cooked. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Saute onion, red pepper and mushrooms until soft. Add garlic and stir. Add pasta sauce plus 1/4 cup of water (preferably starchy water from cooked pasta water) and mix all the ingredients together until fully incorporated. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese and mix until melted.
Plate and serve!
I could hardly wait to eat since it was 8 p.m. by this time and I'd already walked home from work and worked out. All that activity and cooking can build up an appetite. Johnnycakes, who was mysteriously absent and not hungry during the cooking phase, popped up just in time to eat! Our neighbor even gave us some props on the feast.
Johnnycakes and I parted ways when it came to our plating techniques. I chose to separate the items and garnish the plate as shown above. Johnnycakes went for a more combined approach.