Chicken Parmesan – Comfort Food

 

Chicken ParmegianoPhoto by: David Beeler

 

Unless you’re a vegetarian, for many people Chicken Parmesan is mentioned on the list of “comfort foods”.  To me, growing up in Europe, Chicken Parmesan was a new concept when I arrived here in the United States, 13 years ago.  I didn’t quite get the hype, but figured, it’d give it a try.  Some time.  And I did.  A few months ago.  Yep, it took me 13 years to try Chicken Parmesan.  Why?  ‘Cause it’s chicken.  With tomato sauce.  Topped with cheese.  It doesn’t take much imagination to get the idea of what that would taste like.

And then I watched a DVR-ed episode of The Pioneer Woman on a Sunday afternoon while David had gone to work out, the kids had their “quiet time” and I had my Mommy Time.  And I have to admit: I don’t know how she does it, but that lady manages to make everything she makes, even something as straight forward as Chicken Parmesan, look so enticing, it makes me want to crawl through my TV screen, straight into her kitchen. So I had to try it.

And I did.

And I thoroughly enjoyed the meal.  It was flavorful, easy to make and the whole family loved it.  It’s the perfect weeknight meal.  I lack the history, I lack the childhood experiences, but I can totally see how chicken Parmesan could make it onto the “comfort food list” of my children.

 

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded flat
  • 1 lb. thin linguine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • three 14.5-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more if needed
  • Basil chiffonade, for serving

 

Directions:

  • Mix the flour and some salt and pepper together on a large plate.  Dredge the flattened chicken breasts in the flour mixture and set aside.
  • Cook the linguine until al dente.
  • Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the butter is melted and the oil/butter mixutre is hot, fry the chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side (2-3 minutes per side).  Remove the chicken breasts from the skillet and set aside.
  • Without cleaning the skillet, add the garlic and onions and gently stir for 2 minutes.  Pour in the stock and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom.
  • Allow the stock to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine.
  • Add the sugar and more salt and pepper to taste and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
  • Toward the end of the cooking time, add the chopped parsley and give the sauce a final stir.
  • Carefully lay the chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in the grated Parmesan.
  • Place the lid on the skillet and reduce the heat to low.  Allow to simmer until the cheese is melted and the chicken is thoroughly heated.  Add more cheese to taste.
  • Place the cooked noodles on a plate and cover with the sauce.
  • Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle with more parsley and basil chiffonade.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves: 8

Enjoy!

(Recipe by: The Pioneer Woman, aka Ree Drummond)

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