Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Mozzarella

I read what felt like a billion "easy chicken parmagian" recipes and finally made this version. It borrows from so many others, that I can't really cite a specific other recipe.

4 pieces of chicken (I took two .75 lb chicken breasts and cut them in half)
14 Ritz-like crackers (mine were the generic brand)
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2 tbsp dried Italian Herb blend (its a grinder that has garlic, onion, parsley, black pepper, salt and maybe more)
1/2 tbsp dried Oregano
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
Red Pasta sauce
Pasta of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Take a baking dish and line it with aluminum foil. This trick cut my cleaning time substantially
3. Prepare three small bowls. Bowl A should have just the flour. Bowl B should have the beaten egg. Bowl C gets a bit more complicated - put the crackers in there, but crush them with your hands until they are pretty fine mush. Add the herbs - to be honest, I just kept pouring the herbs until it looked about right (my grandma's method of cooking which always infuriated me, but I now understand). Therefore, the 1/2 tbsp measurements are guestimates - if you want to add more, I say go for it. Then add 1/4 cup of Mozzarella (you'll need the rest at the end)
4. Now take the chicken dip it both sides in the flour bowl, then both sides in the egg bowl, then both sides in the cracker bowl, and then place it on the foil. Repeat for each piece. Whatever remains from the cracker dish, just put on top of the chicken pieces.
5. Bake for 20 minutes
6. As soon as you put the chicken in the oven, start the water boiling for pasta. Cook as directed. I was able to time this almost exactly so that the pasta and chicken finished at the same time.
7. When the chicken has cooked for 20 minutes, take a generous spoonful of the pasta sauce and place it on each chicken piece. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella and evenly distribute it amongst the chicken pieces. Put them back in the oven for about 4 minutes.
8. After draining the pasta, coat with your red pasta sauce.

Serve pasta in a bowl with a piece of chicken. A caprese salad completes the meal nicely.

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