Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Revisited

The best recipes in this house are borne out of desperation.  I kid you not.

It was 5:45, and I was just getting home from an errand.  The chicken that had been thawing on the counter for "Chicken Parmesan" all day was still more than half frozen - an unacceptable state of affairs if you plan on flattening your chicken breasts, which I do. Then to top it all off I realized that I was out of diced tomatoes.  Crud.  There went my fabulous menu plan.

I did a little scrounging and came up with a new idea.  It was so good that Olivia and Ben told me it needed to be a regular dish, and Kelsey's friend that was over for dinner asked me to give the recipe to her mother.  It's times like this that make up for all the other mediocre meals and dietary flops that occasionally grace our table.  So, of course I'm going to share it with you!  It's also super-easy, which  means it's a winner in my book.

I'm not sure what to call it, so we'll just go with this:

Parmesan Chicken Revisited
*Disclaimer: I guesstimated the measurements on this one. Feel free to adjust your recipe to taste!

1 to 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 to 4 Tbsp Italian dressing
1/2 to 1 tsp dried basil (can use fresh if desired)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch slices and place on a plate.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle with Italian dressing and turn to coat

Place the chicken into an oiled casserole dish (I used a 9x13 baking dish) and sprinkle with basil.  If you don't have the julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes, cut yours into strips or dice them so you can spread it evenly on top of the chicken.  Then sprinkle with Parmesan.  
(I forgot to take a picture of this step, but you'll see what it should look like in the next picture.)

 Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  It is very important to cover while cooking for this step because it softens the tomatoes and keeps them from being hard and chewy at the end.  After 20 minutes the chicken should be almost done, but not quite.

Take the foil off and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the chicken is done.  (Mine took longer to cook tonight because the chicken was still slightly frozen.)

Serve with veggies and enjoy!  Ben got doubly lucky tonight because it was one of his special fried okra nights.  (He only gets 1 or 2 a year.)  He wasn't happy that Kelsey's friend loves fried okra, too.  I had to promise him he wouldn't get any less than usual.   Here was my plate at dinner...

... and this was Ben's.  He loves his fried okra, can't you tell?

Speaking of fried okra... I'll have to blog about that sometime, too. His momma taught me how to make it, and we love it crispy!

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