Parmesan Chicken

Hands down, my husband’s absolute favorite dish that I make.It’s funny because I don’t think there’s anything specifically unique about my recipe, but he insists that it’s just my “mojo” or something (whatever that means). Probably more specifically it’s that I brown the chicken in a saute pan on the stove first, then finish cooking them in the oven. The chicken stays super moist on the inside, with a nice crunchy breading on the outside. If you’re looking for a really impressive, yet easy to execute dish – this one’s great! Also super good when served with risotto and grilled asparagus!

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breasts (cleaned and trimmed)
1/2 cup of flour, approx.
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of italian style bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
marinara sauce (homemade or from a jar is great too!)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Grated parmesan cheese, or a blend of shredded “Italian cheeses”

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray and set aside for now.

Trim any skin or gristle from chicken. (Theres nothing worse then biting into a beautiful breaded piece of chicken, only to get chewy or gristly bits, IMHO. Yuck!)  Pound each of the chicken breasts with a mallet or rolling pin until all are relatively same thickness throughout.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan on med to med-hi heat. It’s best to use regular pure olive oil, and not extra-virgin because it has a higher smoke point.  (Extra-Virgin olive oil will start to smoke and burn before it can get hot enough to really sear the chicken).

While saute pan is heating up and working quickly, dredge each chicken breast in  flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the beaten eggs, then finally, dredge in the breadcrumbs. Place chicken into the hot saute pan and brown on each side for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn off the heat. Remove from saute pan and arrange in the glass baking dish. Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons of marinara sauce on each chicken breast (use more or less depending on how much you like sauce.).  Sprinkle grated cheese over the top of each breast. Cover dish with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Remove foil and put back into the oven to brown the cheese – another 5-10 minutes. *Chicken should not longer be pink inside and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

 

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Momos

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Making Momos

One of my favorite things about cooking is learning to cook ethnic foods. I was born and raised in the midwest, and on a hog farm when I was young. Our meals ALWAYS included the “midwest trio” – meat, potato and corn, (usually canned). I have no idea when or how I learned to LOVE trying new foods. But somewhere along the way, I learned the joy of trying many different foods – and when it’s home cooked and healthy – EVEN BETTER!

I owe this dumpling recipe to my new good friend, Saru who is from Nepal. Saru came to the US four years ago to study nursing and has been away from her family for a long time. We love having her over to our house for dinner, and comparing notes on our cultural differences. After cooking several different meals for her that included, Indian food, traditional St. Patrick’s day food, and some basic American food – she decided to come over and teach us how to make these traditional dumplings from her home. I just have to say how happy we were to learn this, because they are a little bit of heaven in a delicious steamed package.

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