Chicken Parmesan

This is one of my favourite meals to make.  It is a bit time consuming and labour intensive, so it’s not one that I make often.  When I do make it, however, it is always a big hit.

I always start by making a tomato sauce.  Using fresh tomatoes is ideal, but if you don’t have any around, or its winter and they’re ridiculously expensive and have no taste, canned tomatoes work as well.

To start the sauce, I sauted a bit of chopped garlic in some butter.

Getting the garlic going

Getting the garlic going

 

I then added my tomatoes, a bit of water, seasoning (salt, pepper, oregano, basil) and a splash of red wine and left it on the stove to simmer.

Getting the tomatoes going

Getting the tomatoes going

 

Simmer this mixture until the tomatoes break down and everything starts to thicken up.  If your sauce is too runny, you can add some tomato paste to thicken it up a little bit.

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Next, I got things organized to get the chicken cutlets ready.  I started by preparing my egg mixture.  In a baking pan, I combined an egg, a splash of milk, salt, pepper, and some sour cream and whisked it all together.

Egg mixture

Egg mixture

 

Then I got the breadcrumb coating ready.  In another baking pan I combined, bread crumbs (I like to use the “Italian Style” crumbs because they have some flavour), salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, and oregano.

Breadcrumb mixture

Breadcrumb mixture

 

The next thing to do is prep the chicken.  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pounded them into cutlets myself.  I put one breast at a time into a large Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to pound it out nice and thin.

Pounding out the chicken

Pounding out the chicken

 

Next I breaded the chicken.  First I dipped it into the egg mixture, making sure that it was all coated.

Dipping into the egg mixture

Dipping into the egg mixture

 

Once the chicken was well coated in the egg mixture, I moved it to the breadcrumb mixture.  I use a fork to make sure it is entirely coated in breadcrumbs.

Coating the chicken with breadcrumbs

Coating the chicken with breadcrumbs

 

Once the cutlets are breaded, I heated up a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil and a little bit of butter.  I put the breaded chicken cutlet in and fried until nice a brown on one side, flipped it, and fried the other side.

Frying the chicken cutlets

Frying the chicken cutlets

 

As I was frying the chicken, I lined a 9×12 glass baking dish with a little bit of the tomato sauce that I made earlier.

Lining the baking dish with tomato sauce

Lining the baking dish with tomato sauce

 

As the cutlets were done frying, I placed them in the sauce-lined baking dish.

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Once all the chicken cutlets were in the pan, I liberally poured tomato sauce on top of them.

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I then put a layer of grated mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken breasts.

Adding the cheese on top

Adding the cheese on top

 

Then I put the baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until it was heated through and the cheese was nice and bubbly.

I served my chicken parmesan with egg noodles (with butter and parmesan cheese on top) and green beans.

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This meal was delicious.  The chicken was so moist and juicy.

Cross section of the chicken parmesan

Cross section of the chicken parmesan

 

A little bit of work, but the deliciousness of the reward is completely worth it!

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A Great Summertime Dessert

I usually reserve this dessert for the hot days of summer.  Maybe I was willing the weather to warm up a little bit, or maybe it is so easy and delicious I just wanted to have some.  Nevertheless, for a barbecue with friends this past weekend, this little gem seemed like the perfect dessert.  This recipe goes WAY back to when my mom was a young teacher in the late 70’s.  It has been modified and changed by us over the years, that I was almost surprised when I found the actual recipe this morning.  This one is so easy that I’m not sure I ever actually used a recipe, but instead make it the way I remember my mom making it, and changing things up depending on my mood.

I made quite a few modifications to the original recipe when I made this yesterday, but it is one of those recipes that I don’t think could go wrong no matter what you did.  Because I didn’t want a lot of leftovers, I made this batch in a 9×9 pan.

I started by mixing the milk and Bailey’s in a shallow dish.

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Then, I dipped the chocolate chip cookies into the milk mixture, turning them, so they were soaked (but not super saturated) on both sides.

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Then, I lined the bottom of my 9×9 pan with the soaked cookies, breaking smaller pieces of cookie to fill in the holes.

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Next, I spread a liberal layer of Cool Whip over the cookies to cover them.

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Now, for a modification from the original recipe, I drizzled Irish caramel sauce over the Cool Whip layer (this was the first time I’ve tried this, and it was fantastic).

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Next, I sprinkled a crushed Kit Kat Chunky bar overtop of the Cool Whip/Caramel layer (the original recipe calls for Butterfinger, but I think you can only get those in the States.  I usually use Skor, but thought I’d change it up).

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Then you just repeat the layers.  The 9×9 dish I was using was really deep, so I ended up being able to layer 3 times (normally I just do 2 layers of each).

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Once it was all layered up, I covered the dish in foil and put it into the deep freeze.  Mine was only in the freezer for 4 hours, and it was not enough time (didn’t freeze solidly enough), I recommend overnight for best results.

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When you’re ready to serve, cut into squares and lift out of the pan.  They come out fairly together because everything is frozen nicely.

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Easy, impressive, AND delicious.  My favourite kind of recipe.

 

Frozen Kahlua “Cake” Recipe
Ingredients
1 c. milk
½ c. Kahlua (or Baileys, Grand Marnier, etc.)
2 packages Chocolate Chip Cookies (I like to use PC Decadent)*
2 large tubs of Cool Whip
6 Butterfinger Chocolate Bars crushed (I always prefer to use Skor bars, but anything can be used)

Method
Mix milk and liquer in a shallow dish. Dip cookies in mixture. Line the bottom of a lasagna pan with soaked cookies. Spread a layer of Cool Whip overtop. Sprinkle half of the crushed chocolate bars overtop. Repeat, layering like lasagna. Cover pan with foil and freeze (ideally overnight). Cut into squares and serve.

* I’ve tried this with many different cookies (homemade chocolate chip, peanut butter cookies, oreos, etc.) and they’ve all turned out great.  It just depends on what you have on hand and what you’re in the mood for.