Wednesday, October 6, 2010
One of my favorite meals growing up was Parmesan chicken. I loved coming home after a long day of school (and maybe a few hours of socializing afterwards) to see the skillet out filled with chicken and marinara sauce. I was a very lucky kid- my mom made us breakfast and dinner everyday, even during the two years in high school that I was catching the bus at 6:30 in the morning. My mother is a saint.
I could never hope to come close to her awesome cooking, but I will continue doing what I can. So, here is how I make Parmesan chicken. I make it like my mom- it's somewhat light because I don't bread the chicken with bread crumbs or brown it in butter.
Dredge chicken breasts in a ziploc bag filled with flour seasoned with salt, pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning (have you noticed I love this stuff?). Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into a skillet and brown both sides of the breasts. Melt some cheese on the top of the breasts (I like a mozzarella and Parmesan blend). Pour tomato sauce on top of the breasts and COVER. Since I was just cooking for Eric, my boyfriend, and I, I cooked the chicken in a smaller skillet than usual and didn't have a lid to fit it. This was a mistake. There was sauce everywhere, it even somehow got on the ceiling. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through.
I would usually pair Parmesan chicken with store-bought french bread or my go to focaccia bread recipe, but I've been meaning to try this recipe from Our Best Bites for a while, and thought it would taste great with all that marinara. I was seriously right. Our Best Bites calls them Cheesy Garlic Bread Swirls, but Eric insisted that they were actually "Butter Bombs" and I thought it was funny, hence the title.
First, make the french bread dough by proofing the yeast. After doing so, add flour, salt, vegetable oil, and an egg yolk. Let rise for an hour. It rises really quickly. I made the dough during a break in my classes and let it rise during my hour and a half long class, and it was coming out of the bowl when I got back.
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface into a large rectangle. Make the garlic butter mixture by combining a stick of butter (don't skimp on this!), garlic salt, and minced garlic. Spread this mixture all over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and mozzarella, or any other cheeses of your choice.
Roll up the dough jelly roll style and cut into equal pieces (mine made 16).
Grease a muffin tin and place the pieces into the cups.
Turn your oven onto 350 degrees and let the rolls rise while it's preheating. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until nice and golden.
Amazing. As I said, my batch resulted in 16 "Butter Bombs" and by the next morning there was only one left. We did have some help from my roommate and her boyfriend, but not much :)
2 chicken breasts
1 cup flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, mixed
1 1/2 cup marinara (or spaghetti) sauce
Combine the flour, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a large ziploc bag. Put the chicken breasts in the bag with the flour and shake until coated. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and brown the chicken on both sides. Turn the heat down to medium-low and evenly distribute the mozzarella/Parmesan mixture on the chicken until it gets melty. Pour the marinara on the chicken and cover. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Cheesy Garlic Bread Swirls (Or "Butter Bombs" as Eric calls them)
Modified from Our Best Bites
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4-5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1 stick butter (softened)
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Combine yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk and combine. Add 3 cups flour and mix well until combined. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead, either by hand or in mixer for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour. While dough is rising, combine butter, minced garlic, and garlic salt. Set aside. Roll dough into a rectangle that's about 18-20 inches by 6 inches. Smear garlic butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle with cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style and cut into equal pieces that will fit nicely into a muffin tin. Place each slice in a muffin tin. Cover with a clean cloth. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and allow rolls to rise while the oven is heating. When the oven is ready, bake for 20-25 minutes.