S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Chicken Parmesan
I’m dating myself. And, in reminiscing about the song “Saturday Night”, I decided to see if it was on You Tube. Which, of course, it was, in multiple versions. Here is the link to that ultra big hit . Were the Bay City Roller hotties actually wearing capri pants back in 1976? Maybe that is who Zack Ephron was channeling when he wore capri’s in High School Musical 2….but, again, I date myself.

Just tucked J into bed. L is reading. I’ve got some granola baking in the oven (next post about 1976). Nice to be home and not out on this stormy night. And, good to have S and J back before they close the freeway from the Sierra, which may happen if there is a lot of snow (cross fingers – we are still expecting a drought).

To welcome S and J home, L and I chose a recipe from a Bon Appetit magazine of a few months ago. It was a cover recipe that looked scrumptious: Mario Batali’s chicken parmesan. The cover of the magazine is practically edible: the chicken parm is in the front with a salad behind it, soup behind that, and a chocolate cake in the back. The chicken has crispy breading and bubbly fresh mozzarella on top. It is gorgeous. I’m not sure why I haven’t tried it sooner, but magazines get buried in my infamous piles. This recipe is actually from an article on what restaurants serve to their staff for dinner before they open to serve dinner to their patrons. So, the recipe is for 10 servings. For four, I just reduced the amounts, and didn’t cook it in 2 layers in a big baking pan – just one layer of 4 chicken breasts. We only ate 2 1/2. Chicken breasts are really, um, voluptuous these days. The leftovers could be excellent sandwiches tomorrow, or better yet, lunch on Monday.

I made Mario’s sauce with dried thyme and it turned out just fine. I don’t always (read: usually never) have fresh herbs on hand and wanted to make the sauce before I headed out for the market. I did get fresh mozzarella when I was there – which made the flavor different than regular block or shredded mozzarella, but I think that would work very well, too. And, since I went to a market with a butcher, I had them pound the chicken breasts for me – that was a time and energy saver.

Served with some tri-color egg pasta, this was a pretty easy and definitely delicious meal. I think that the homemade sauce (which did take a little time to simmer, but not to prepare), the fresh breadcrumbs and the fresh mozzarella are the touches that make this recipe stand out. I chopped fresh parsley but forgot to serve it, so the picture is missing its green element. I would have liked the fresh flavor of the parsley with the dish. This chicken parmesan is a keeper, and you could absolutely make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it, which would make this a relatively quick, not to mention popular, weeknight meal.

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