Chicken Parmesan

2-3 chicken breasts

1 box of pasta (type doesn’t really matter, but I used rotelle)

1 jar of pasta sauce

1 small can of diced tomatoes (I like the ones with peppers or onions added)

1 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella

A slice of mozzarella for each chicken breast

1 can panko bread crumbs

1-2 cups of flour

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

4 T olive oil

Crushed red pepper, to preference

I’m going to apologize up front on this one, I cooked this 2 nights ago and just kinda made it up as I went so there isn’t going to be a lot of exactness included. This is an artistic interpretation of a family recipe (not my family), but still came out really good!

Starting easy is probably a good place to start. You’ll cook the pasta as directed on the box. You’ll also want to get out a mid-size skillet out for the chicken, set that to medium/medium-low depending on your stove and add 2 T of the oil.

You’ll need to set up a conveyor belt of bowls, one with flour, one with the eggs and milk whisked together, and the third with bread crumbs, in that order with the crumbs closest to the stove. Once the skillet is warmed up, you’ll coat the chicken in each of the three, working your way down the line, and put them in the skillet. These you will fry while the pasta cooks.

I do a lot of cooking by sight, so I don’t have an exact timeframe for how long they take, but 15 minutes would probably be a good estimate. What I usually do is cook on both sides to a light golden brown, then each side again until they’re a darker golden brown or almost a true brown. Depending on the thickness of the chicken, they could cook faster or slower, so it’s always best to cut into the chicken and check for pinkness to be sure it’s cooked. If you make sure the make the cuts all on the same side, they can be covered by cheese later so no one will ever know!

Now don’t forget about the pasta! Once that’s done cooking and drained, you’ll toss it in a large skillet over medium low with the remainder of the olive oil and sprinkle in some crushed red pepper, however spicy you like, and let that all mingle while stirring frequently. I only had that going for about 5 minutes, then moved it into a casserole dish and combined with the pasta sauce and undrained tomatoes. Cover that with the shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is as crispy/melted as you like.

There are two options for melting the cheese on the chicken. You can either melt it while it’s in the skillet just before you pull it off or you can toss it in the oven with the chicken. This is totally personal preference, both work great!

Once it’s all done, toss it on a plate and enjoy!

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