Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Herb Crusted Chicken Breast over Marinara

Italian food is absolutely delicious and so versatile. Its so hard for me to resist buying all the fresh pasta and different types of sauces from Whole Foods. Since, I am very much trying to keep within my grocery budget, I decided to buy a few just plain ol' marinara sauces and then later on embellish the sauce to give it a fresh taste. Spaghetti or Linguine is a staple for our weekly night dinner but the box of ziti was calling my name. Tonight, I went back to an old classic and made it my way. Last year, I would have topped this off with cheese to make it a chicken parm, because hubby can't eat cheese so I have included some aged parmigiano reggiano in the crust itself which makes this dish lactose free. This is an absolutely mouth watering dish, that can be edited to fit your needs as you go along. I got the idea from Rachel Ray on, and made my own modifications from it.

Herb Crusted Chicken Breast

*Olive oil for frying
*1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*2 large eggs, beaten with 1/4 cup water or Milk
*2 cloves garlic, pressed

*2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
*1 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano
* 2 tablespoons of dried Italian seasonings
*1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place a nonstick cookie sheet in oven with a tin foil liner.Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large nonstick skillet or frying pan over medium to medium high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and 2 pressed garlic cloves. Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs with water in a second dish along side the flour. In a third dish, combine the breading ingredients. Coat chicken in flour, then egg, then bread and cheese mixture. Cook chicken until deeply golden on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to cookie sheet in preheated oven and finish off for another 20 minutes cooking time. Check on the chicken, if the pieces are thick you may need to leave in there for another 10 minutes extra. I brought the oven down from 300 to 200 and left it in there for another 15 mins. This way my chicken will still be hot when I served dinner Serve chicken with your own pasta and sauce version. Mine is as follows

Simple Tomato Sauce
*1 bottle of plain marinara sauce
*1 whole peeled & shredded carrot
*1 medium white/red onion, sliced
*2 medium pressed garlic cloves
*any other vegetable (squash, eggplant,mushrooms) will do too
* salt & pepper
* 1 tablespoon oil

Heat oil in a medium sauce pan and sautee garlic and onions for about five minutes or till onions start to soften. Add vegetables and sautee some more. Pour in the marinara sauce and reduce heat to slow. Mix well and heat the sauce till desired temperature to serve over pasta.
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New Ideas? Alterations? Substitutes? I wanna know!