Fall is in full swing on the farm and most of the vegetables and fruits have been harvested. The very last of the peppers- the hot variety were picked just in time before the frost hit. In fact we had 6 inches of snowfall just a few days ago. It was a gorgeous sight and I made sure to get my camera.
There is lots of wood to pile and this year we learned the hard way to make sure you inspect your wood before it gets poured out onto the leaf littered lawn and he takes off. This year we paid hard earned cash for three cords of rotten irregular wood. As I keep repeating, you never stop learning on a farm.
When the weather turns cold and the days are shorter I turn to comfort food. It warms the kitchen and is so satisfying. I love to bake my own rolls and bread as to use up the heat generated by the fire place.
I am sharing with you one of my favourite comfort foods- Classic Chicken Parmesan. This is a very popular dish and you can find it in many restaurants across the country. Nothing tastes quite like homemade. The recipe may seem complicated if you are not familiar with the three step breading process. Once you have your three dishes set up and seasoned, the hardest part is done.
Feel free to use your own tomato sauce or your favourite store bought brand. Adding the basil brings a fresh taste to the dish.
Chicken Parmesan is a perfect dish for entertaining and it can be made ahead.
Classic Chicken Parmesan
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Servings: Serves 4
1- 24 ounce jar of your favourite Marinara Sauce or your own homemade sauce.
4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
Salt & pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1. Gather your ingredients and utensils together. You will need three shallow bowls or pie plates to dredge the chicken cutlets.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
3. Place the chicken cutlets one at a time between a baggie, two layers of plastic wrap or wax paper. Use a meat hammer or rolling pin pound or roll the chicken pieces to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2-inch. Sprinkle salt on both sides of the cutlets.
4. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and pinch of salt and pepper. In separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs.
5. Working one cutlet at a time, dip the chicken cutlet into seasoned flour, then the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering (not smoking). Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, place the dredged cutlets into the pan. Lower the heat to medium and gently fry the chicken cutlets until they are golden brown on each side, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
6. Spread enough tomato sauce to lightly coat the bottom of 9×13 casserole pan or baking dish. Place the cooked cutlets in the casserole dish.
7. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over each of the cutlets. Sprinkle the tops with sliced basil. Then lay slices of mozzarella over each cutlet and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.
8. Bake: Bake in the oven at 375°F for 10-12 minutes, or until the mozzarella begins to brown.
9. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and hot peppers if you like.
Chicken Parmesan is a favourite especially on chilly evenings. I suggest serving this with a salad or pasta. If you have leftover it makes a great sandwich the next day.