Posted by: godandchocolate | March 23, 2010

Last Night’s Dinner: Balsamic Chicken Parmesan

{photo credit: italian-food-lovers.com}

Mondays can be so tough for my husband at law school, and I just love making a yummy Monday night dinner. I’m not sure why, but I really think it helps to get the week started off on the right foot. Quicker dinners are for later in the week, when you’re tired and hoping that the weekend comes soon. But on Monday I find that I have renewed energy for the week ahead, and just love cooking a yummy meal!

Unfortunately, you’re going to have to take my word for it that this was a delicious dinner, as I have no photographic evidence. I know that if I have any hope of blogging about food, I really do need to get into the habit of taking photos of the beautiful meals I occasionally produce in my kitchen. Alas, I only thought about this while taking my last bite of dinner last night. I guess I’ll just have to make it again so that I can share a photo here!

This is my take on classic chicken parmesan–a fun, tasty, Italian comfort dish that I love making when I find a good deal on fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Last night I knew I didn’t want to do the classic Chicken Parmesan, served with pasta sauce and noodles…I wanted something a little more creative (and besides, I didn’t have any Prego in my pantry!). I ended up serving this with roasted broccoli and the last box of parmesan and romano cheese rice-a-roni I had in my pantry (trying to be low-carb, I only had a little rice. It’s really not that good…) The best part is that we had a couple of leftover chicken breasts from this meal which are being recreated tonight on top of a salad, and maybe with a side of baked potatoes. I love reincarnating leftovers!

So here it is, my recipe for Balsamic Chicken Parmesan.

INGREDIENTS
for the chicken:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or cutlets (about 1.25 lbs)
1/2 c. flour
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. milk (optional)
1/2 c. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt, pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
for the sauce:
~2 Tbsp. shallot, minced (optional; can substitute 1 clove minced garlic)
1/3 c. white wine
1 14.5oz-can diced Italian tomatoes (I used garlic & onion flavor), drained of excess juice
salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme (dried or fresh, whatever you have on hand!) to taste
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
PREPARATION
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Begin balsamic reduction by placing balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over low/medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to allow it to reduce by half, or until the desired syrupy consistency is reached.
  3. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Trim of excess fat/skin. Place in freezer zip bag or between pieces of waxed paper and use smooth side of meat mallet to pound to about 1/2″ thickness. Cut each breast crosswise. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place flour in dish. In separate bowl, beat egg, adding milk to thin if needed. In another dish, place bread crumbs, parmesan, basil, oregano, thyme, and pepper. Stir with fork to combine.
  5. Make an assembly line for chicken breading. First, place breast in flour, turning so that each side gets a good dusting. Then, dip floured breast into egg/milk mixture, lifting out of egg with fork so that excess drips off. Finally, coat the chicken in the bread crumb and parmesan mixture, flipping it once or twice so that the chicken is totally covered.
  6. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. When butter has melted add chicken. Working in batches, brown chicken on each side and set aside. When all chicken has browned, place in baking dish, cover with foil, and place in oven to finish cooking and keep warm.
  7. If pan from chicken is dry, add a little more olive oil. Brown shallot in olive oil until golden and translucent, being careful not to burn it.
  8. Deglaze the pan by adding white wine, stirring constantly. Allow wine to reduce by about half.
  9. Add drained diced tomatoes to the shallot-wine mixture. Add salt and pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme to taste. Allow the sauce to cook for a few minutes until tomatoes are cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  10. Remove chicken from oven, check to see that no pink remains in the middle. Plate chicken breast, adding a small serving of the tomato sauce on top. Finish by drizzling with a small amount of the balsamic reduction, and top with freshly grated parmesan, if desired.

Enjoy! I promise it’s not as difficult/involved to make as the long ingredients list makes it seem! If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

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