Chicken Parmesan. It just ‘screams’ comfort food, doesn’t it? The breaded chicken, heavy marinara, pasta on the side which is obviously loaded with more parmesan cheese…all perfect for a snowy winter night. The end of January is a transition point for me. Yes, it is still chilly and snowy out, but the endless amount of eating from the holidays and comfort foods from the past few months seem to add up. Suddenly visions of snowmen and uggs switch to sand, shells, and swaying palm trees that seem to be calling my name. February and March…time to get to Florida for some much needed warmth and humidity. Along with that goes the shorts, dresses, swim suits….yikes! It was time to lighten up some of the classics that are still completely necessary to get through these remaining snowy months, but won’t hurt the waist line for sun bathing by the ocean. Ahhh…
A great place to start is with this recipe. You still get the comfort of the breaded chicken parmesan, but instead of a heavy marinara, pasta, and more cheese to go along with it you build a fresh salad on top. Not only is this better for you, but the dressing on the salad sitting on the warm chicken really kicks up the flavor. I promise, you won’t miss the pasta.
Another great quality of this recipe is that it is completely versatile. Easy to make on a week night for 2, or for company of 8 on the weekend. If you choose to make this for a crowd, have your oven at 200 degrees to keep the chicken warm while making additional servings. The ingredients are simple to work with, just buy the quantity that you need.
Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten
- Chicken breasts, butterflied open and pounded to 1/4 inch thick. (Bonus if you have any aggression to get out…?)
- 1 cup of flour
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a splash of water
- 1 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
- Good olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Mixed greens
- Lemon, zest and juice
- Tomatoes, the freshest you can find. In the winter I tend to turn to grape tomatoes
Make a little assembly line next to your stove. Have the chicken pounded out and ready to go. On one plate, combine the flour with the salt and pepper. Next have the eggs and water ready. Lastly, combine the bread crumbs and parmesan. Roll the chicken in the flour, dip in the eggs, and cover with the bread crumb/parmesan mixture. Repeat for each piece of chicken you are serving.
To cook the chicken, warm 1 TBS good olive oil and 1 TBS unsalted butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes per side. If you are making additional pieces of chicken, you will need to add additional olive oil and butter as you go along.
To build the salad, begin with the dressing. Whisk together 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 cup of good olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss with the greens.
Plate your chicken, place some salad on top, top with sliced tomatoes and freshly shaved parmesan cheese.
Come on spring!