“Chicken Parm you taste so good”. I was craving Chicken Parmesan and it is all Peyten Manning’s fault. If you haven’t seen the Nationwide Insurance commercial with Payten Manning, watch it on YouTube or Vine. Basically he goes through his day repeating daily occurrences with the “Nationwide is on your side” theme. At one point he is eating a Chicken Parmesan sandwich. I thought, yum.
This one turned out fantastic. Leftovers will definitely turn into a sandwich. Sure, you can make your own marinara but as I’ve said before, that Mario Batali’s Arrabiata is fantastic (I should be getting some kickbacks here, huh hum… Mario?). I really love the spaghetti rigati. If you don’t know, rigati is just the little lines or ridges along the pasta that help them absorb the sauce (you can see the ridges in the photo above, click to enlarge). My favorite all time pasta is bucatini rigati which is hard to find around here, but has the hole down the center and the ridges.
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 jar of you favorite marinara (we prefer Mario Batali’s Arrabiata)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan Regianno, plus more for garnish
- Fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 1/2 package dried spaghetti regati (or you favorite pasta)
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- Egg wash (1 egg and milk)
- Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Canola and olive oil
- Kosher salt
- One at a time, place chicken breasts in a zip lock bag and using a mallet or heavy skillet, pound them until thin. Once each breast is to your liking, season with salt and set aside. In the same bag, add bread crumbs, approximately a cup of Parmesan and salt to taste. Meanwhile, in a large dish whisk the egg and milk. Dip the chicken one by one in the egg wash and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Shake in the bag until completely covered, then set aside.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F and heat a large skillet at medium (or just slightly past medium). Also, bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- In the large skillet add enough oil to cover the pan (50/50 canola and olive is my preference). Add the chicken and cook until both sides are golden brown. Place the chicken on a sheet pan with a rack (I line the pan with tin foil so I don’t have to clean the pan later). Top the chicken with 1/3 if the Arrabiata, sprinkle with Parmesan and top that with the sliced mozzarella. Place the in the oven until the cheese is melted. You can also use the broiler to melt the cheese a little faster.
- Season the water with salt and cook spaghetti per instructions on the package until al dente. Once done, drain and place back into the same large pot. Let any excess water burn off and toss the pasta with olive oil. A few minutes before serving, toss the remaining Arrabiata sauce in with the pasta and allow it to warm through.
- To serve, place serving of spaghetti topped with chicken and garnish with more Parmesan and the parsley. Enjoy.
Another example of “on hand” ingredients thrown together to a great result. The chicken is good. I’ve made it a ton. The salad, well I thought I had totally made it up until I started Googling it on the interwebs. It turned out to be a pretty common Tuscan thing, so there you have it.
The salad was delicious. I think for a light spring or summer meal it is the perfect side. It has the healthy starch of the farro and all the veg. The olives and vinegar seasoned it well. Then the creamy fresh mozzarella along with the olive oil seemed to hold it all together. I will add this to the “make again” category, even if it wasn’t as original as I thought.
One other note, whole chickens are super cheap even if they’ve been pre-cut into parts.
- 1 whole Chicken cut into pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
- Juice of 1-2 lemons, plus zest
- Chicken stock
- Fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Olives, halved
- Red wine vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Add the chicken, garlic, rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper and lemon juice into a large (or several) zip top bags. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for as long as you can.
- In the meantime, cook farro per instruction it came with. Some require the farro to “bloom” in water overnight. You can usually skip that but I would recommend letting it sit in water for at least a few hours. I also usually replace ½ to 1/3 of the water with unsalted chicken stock. When the farro is done, set aside and let cool.
- Assemble farro, mozzarella, onion, olives and arugula in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste. Season if necessary with salt and pepper. This salad can be server warm or room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add enough oil to coat. Add chicken pieces but don’t over crowd. Do several batches if necessary. Sear the chicken until the skin is golden brown and much of the fat has been rendered out. Remove some of the fat (or heck, leave it all in). Add all the seared chicken back into the skillet and pour maybe a half a cup of chicken stock into the bottom of the skillet. Place in the oven until chicken is cooked to appropriate temperature. Keep warm.
- To plate, heap salad on and stack your favorite type of chicken on top. Yum!
This was an experiment gone so right. Try it, tonight. With mostly items on hand, the recipe kind of came together. I had some gnocchi from Rio Bertolini’s that had been in the freezer for a while and I didn’t want to waste them. I had a mostly full jar of Mario Batali’s Arrabbiata sauce. I had prosciutto, onion, baby spinach, and the cheese. I had it all. Sometimes things come together in just the right way.
As with most recipes I have, I started searching Google for Baked Gnocchi recipes. As with most recipes I have, I combined several. I wanted a tomato based rather than a cream based because we were serving it with grilled bread. I needed something I could sop up. This simple meal ended up great and I’m sure the leftovers will be even better. Buon appetito!
UPDATE: Leftovers were great!
- 1 package pepper gnocchi (I love Rio Bertolini’s in Charleston)
- 1 jar prepared marinara (I love Mario Batali’s Arrabbiata)
- ½ lbs of sliced or torn prosciutto
- ½ small red onion, sliced in thin strips
- 1 bunch baby spinach
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup low fat shredded Italian mix cheese
- 1 mozzarella ball, cubed
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flake
- 1 cup Italian bread crumb (or Panko)
- ½ cup of grated parmesan reggiano cheese.
- Olive oil
- Pre heat oven to 400 F degrees.
- If gnocchi is frozen then bring a large pot to a boil. Add the gnocchi and reduce heat. Right when they start to come to the top, drain and set aside.
- Spray an oven safe dish with cooking spray or rub with olive oil. Add all ingredients and toss to combine. Top mixture with bread crumb and grated cheese and drizzle with olive oil. I would NOT add any additional salt.
- Bake uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
- Serve with grilled bread.