Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Parmigiana, slightly adapted

I'm going to be 100% honest with you--I made this dinner in mid-November. We were having guests for dinner, and one of them doesn't eat red meat.  I found this recipe on "The Pioneer Woman Cooks" and I decided that this would be the perfect solution.  I've made Chicken Parmesan many times, so I didn't really need a recipe.   I will give Ree Drummond credit for inspiring me to make this!

If you've never made Chicken Parmesan (or Parmigiana, as "Ree" calls it), you need marinara sauce.  I stopped buying bottled spaghetti sauce years ago, because I found that making your own sauce is so easy, and I think it tastes much better.  I try to buy San Marzano crushed tomatoes to make my own sauce. They're a little more expensive, but they taste so good. I haven't photographed a tutorial on how to make marinara sauce, but the Pioneer Woman has.  I'll give you the link for that at the end of this recipe. Let's begin:

I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Season flour with salt & pepper. Brown the chicken in olive oil and a little butter, until browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from heat, cover with foil and keep warm (I heat my oven to 200F).  My salted pasta water is already started on the stove, too.

Ree makes the marinara sauce, after the chicken is cooked.  I actually made mine a day ahead. That way I could spend more time visiting with company.  Of course, you can buy bottled marinara sauce.  I think it's cheaper to make my own, and I can control how much sodium goes into it-- and I know what's in it!

These photos aren't my best work.  I had company, it was already night time, and I don't take extra time to shoot photos when I have guests. Most of you understand this!  Earlier in the day, I picked some fresh Italian parsley-- which is still growing strong in my winter garden (of course, I don't ever see snow on the ground).
I simply return the chicken to the sauce-- and here's where I improvised. Instead of adding more Parmesan cheese on top of the chicken, I added fresh mozarella.   When I lifted the lid, to take a photo, the cheese hadn't fully melted.  In the end, it did!

I served this with linguine noodles, cooked al dente and garnished it with fresh parsley. If I had basil, I would have used that-- alas, my basil was finished by October.  This is a fast and simple dinner to make. I think kids would love it, too.  To see how P-Dub made her sauce, you can find it here.

While Ree of the Pioneer Woman is known for her "hearty" food-- heavy cream, butter and all, she does have recipes on her website that are a little less ranch style.  I read her blog, faithfully. I just love her sense of humor and her photographs.  She's made quite a name for herself, and I do have her new cookbook. It's half stories and half recipes.  Most of them are on her blog, but there are a few that are only in her cookbook.

I have some cooking to do, now! Hopefully, I'll catch up in posting what I've made very soon!

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Stacey Snacks said...

Hi Deb.
Here in NJ, Chicken "Parm" is a staple!
Yours looks great!

Frieda said...

O.k., you got my attention! I really, really, need to learn how to make a good marinara sauce! I'm on a making-food-from-scratch kick, and would love to see a tutorial on this from you~

Monica H said...

Mr. H was just craving chicken parm, which is a rarity because he's not a fan of red sauce. However this looks so good, I want some too!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

You are so right. Homemade marinara sauce is super easy to make and is far superior to the jarred versions. I usually use Mario Batali or Giada's recipe. I make the whole batch and freeze what I don't use for later.

Your Chicken Parmesan looks so comforting in this cold weather.

Stay warm,

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Certainly worth waiting for!

Jen_from_NJ said...

I'm a huge chicken parm fan! Stacey is so right. It is a staple food here in NJ. Yours looks perfect!

Debinhawaii said...

Looks delicious. There is nothing better than a good homemade marinara sauce--yum!

Cheryl said...

I am making this tomorrow, I have the sauce already made and in my fridge! I love the San Marzano tomatoes but they are so hard to find in these parts!

Karen said...

I'm sure your guest appreciated the chicken parm - it looks great!

Simple Simon said...

I love that you used skinless breasts and it turned out looking so amazing. I can't wait to try this delicious recipe.

Cristie said...

I love this sauce. Yours is beautiful. I need to make some before the week is out. Thanks for the round up.

Joanne said...

That chicken parm looks absolutely delicious! It is such a great dish to serve for guests. Always a crowd-pleaser.