Saturday, January 15, 2011

Auntie Em's Parmesan Chicken

Welcome to the second installment of Simple Saturdays. The embodiment of life in the Blue Collar household. We live in a crazy, fast faced world as it is and being a mother to two special needs boys, I know the meaning of busy. There is always some therapy or doctor appointment looming several times a week, not to mention that we home school in our home as well. Add in meals, laundry, cleaning, baths and somehow, there still doesn’t always seem to be enough time in the day to get it all done!

Saturdays are the perfect day to tone it down. There are no appointments, no errands to run, no church or family functions to attend to in our home. Saturdays are the day to eat leftovers, to sit on the floor and have tickle fights, there might be a load or two of laundry or some dishes in there but, it is for the most part, a simple quiet day.

So, as I have mentioned before, I use simple little tricks throughout the week to get it all done, such as throwing an extra brown rice packet in when I cook one night for another dinner, etc. Well, Saturdays are when that extra packet of rice will come in handy or those potatoes that I popped in the microwave the night before and threw in the fridge before bed.
Now, I have saved myself the extra time and have just to heat up the rice or potatoes and I have my side dish already ready! I can have mashed potatoes, double baked potatoes, etc. I can add a can of flavored soup to that rice as I heat it through, whatever comes to mind I can do and do it fast as it’s already been cooked through once.

So, my addition to this Saturday’s meal is my version of Parmesan chicken. We all know how to bread things and I’m going to be honest I HATE it! Just because a) it can get messy and b) it seems to take the longest time to do. Probably not really true but, it can feel like it, depending upon how you do your breading. My version cuts that time in less than half! It also helps that as I’ve mentioned before, we have food allergies and intolerances in my house. So, some steps are amended!

Auntie Em’s Parmesan Chicken:

Sorry for not having a GREAT picture as most of my favorite blogs do but, we were hungry!

Keep in mind that you can again add more of one thing or omit something entirely it is your preferance. Though you kind of have to keep the parmesan and Italian seasoning or it’s just no good!

1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breast*
¼  of Parmesan cheese, the kind you sprinkle on pizza
2 - 3 tbs of Italian Seasoning
1tbs of garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
Minced garlic
*you can buy bone in, skin on, chicken as it is usually cheaper but, it does take time trying to skin and remove the bone.

To save you the mess, simply add everything except the chicken to a quart or gallon bag, depending upon how much chicken you actually have. Seal the bag and give it a good mesh or shake.
If you want to get the chicken cooked a lot faster, you can place it between two pieces of saran wrap and pound flat. This makes the chicken so thin and cooks it a lot faster for you.
When the bag is mixed thoroughly well, drop your chicken into the bag and seal it. Move the chicken around through the bag and make sure that all the pieces get coated well.

That’s it! No eggs, crackers or anything else! Just drop them in a pan or broiler or even wrap them in foil with the minced garlic and into the oven to cook. However you want to make them, they’re ready to go. If you do cook in the pan, it goes without saying, cover it with a lid or if you don’t have a lid to the pan, you can simply use a sheet of foil to sit over the top of it. It helps to keep the heat in and cook the chicken all the way through a lot faster.

If you want, you can even dump a little of that mix left in the bag onto the chicken as it’s in the pan…..yes, my boys don’t like to waste a bit of anything!!
Serve with your rice or potatoes and you’re as good as gold!

Wondering about those potatoes? One of my kitchen staples, those bags of steamed veggies from the freezer section, cooked, cooled and then diced and thrown in with the potatoes. It’s one way to guarantee your family gets their veggies and doesn’t mind!

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