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November 4, 2015
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Chicken Parm night

It’s THAT time of year – cooler temperatures, less daytime hours and more rainy days than I care to mention.  The good news is that food (to me) sometimes tastes better when it’s colder out, especially “heavier” food like Italian or Mexican. Often all I want in the summer is a cold salad or something quick and light on the grill like fish or chicken.  An Italian staple like this one is comfort food at it’s best.

This scrumptious recipe has been my standard chicken parmesan recipe for so long that I don’t know who to give credit to for coming up with it?  But, it’s great, it’s a snap to make, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

MENU:

Chicken Parmesan

Fresh Pasta

Romaine Salad with Homemade Italian Dressing

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Chicken Parmesan

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4-5 chicken breasts
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
3/4 cup dried bread crumbs (I use panko)
3 TBSP grated parmesan
¾ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
1/4 cup grated parmesan, to taste
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, to taste

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Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or a rolling pin, pound to an even 1/4-inch thickness.

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Place the flour in a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. On a second plate, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add a clean plate nearby for the breaded chicken.

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Using one hand, dip each cutlet in the flour, then in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drop off before finally dipping in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place the cutlets on the clean plate(s).

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Place a large skillet on the stove on medium-high. Pour 3 TBSP of oil, and heat (1 to 2 minutes). Add the chicken (they should sizzle) and cook 3-4 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown.

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Turn them, and continue cooking cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

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Transfer the browned chicken to a baking dish.

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Cover with marinara (recipe below).

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Then top with parmesan and mozzarella.

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Bake for 15 minutes; serve immediately with the pasta of your choice and more parmesan on the side.

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Marinara Sauce

You CAN use the stuff in a jar from the grocery store, but why would you when it’s SO SO SO much better to make it yourself and takes just a few minutes.  So worth it!

1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

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In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the oil, and heat until simmering (1 to 2 minutes). Add the chopped garlic to the pot. Cook, stirring, until light golden brown, about 1 minute.

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Remove the pan from the heat and add the tomatoes. Then stir in the salt, red pepper and black pepper.

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Return to heat and let come to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

Best Italian Dressing

(Adapted from brown eyed baker)

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⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
3½ TBSP vinegar (red wine, or balsamic)
2 TBSP grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder

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Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar or other container. Close with a tight-fitting lid, and shake to combine.

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Drizzle over salad (I’m doing a mixed salad with the following: chopped romaine, scallions, grape tomatoes, carrots, radishes and crumbled feta) and serve.
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Dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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