DENVER — Making food fit for a king doesn't have to cost a pretty penny, nor does it have to be complicated. Each Tasty Tuesday, Denver7 will highlight a new delicious dish that can be created with just 7 simple ingredients.
On the menu this week is chicken parmesan for two, a popular choice in many restaurants, but a daunting task for those who haven't attempted the dish.
What ingredients will you need? Bread crumbs (garlic encouraged), flour, three eggs, a single defrosted chicken breast, cheese, pasta and sauce.
So the preparation begins:
Prepare to cook by preheating your oven to 375 degrees, oiling a pan to fry your chicken and pouring water inside a pot large enough to boil spaghetti noodles.
Return to your preparation area — plenty of counter space is encouraged — and place two strips of clear plastic wrap down, with your chicken in between them.
Use a meat hammer — other blunt objects could work in a pinch — to flatten your chicken. This is an important step because it will not only extend your chicken into longer cutlets, allowing it to cook more evenly, but it will also tenderize your meat.
Once your chicken is flattened, take this opportunity to trim fat and undesirable pieces from your cutlet. This gives you a clean piece of meat that will be enjoyable for all.
Divide it into several even pieces, then prepare two separate bags. One with two scoops of flour inside, another with a similar amount of bread crumbs. Note — there's no science behind how much you use, it's up to personal taste.
After preparing the two bags, crack and place the contents of three eggs inside a bowl, beat them together thoroughly, ensuring a smooth mixture.
Next is the least fun and most messy part of this entire dish, but it's worth it! We must dip the cutlets into the beaten eggs twice, alternating between flour first and bread crumbs after. The eggs are the glue that bring this dish together.
Here's how to do it: Grab a fork, stabbing a firm end of a cutlet, then dip it into the eggs, coating the cutlet thoroughly. After, drop the cutlet into the bag of flour and shake it up!
Ensure no wet egg shows on the chicken as you pull it out with a fork (don't use your fingers, trust us) and prepare to dip it into the eggs again.
Coat the flour-covered cutlet again in the eggs, moving it with the fork into the bag of bread crumbs. Once again, shake it up!
Ensure again that no wet egg shows, that bread crumbs coat the cutlet completely. When it's covered, you're set! Place it into a large oven-safe glass dish.
Repeat this with however many cutlets you choose to create, lining them up in the glass dish.
The actual cooking begins:
Now turn two burners on the stove on, one to begin heating the oil and another to begin boiling the water. Use a medium heat to get the oil hot, use a high heat to get the water to a boil.
When the water is boiling, turn it to a medium heat and drop your spaghetti noodles into the water, stirring occasionally.
Once the oil is at an optimal temperature — if using canola oil, this is just before the oil begins to smoke — lay your chicken cutlets flat into the oil, decreasing the temperature slightly if necessary to keep the oil from smoking.
Give the cutlets roughly two minutes on each side before flipping, however use judgment here based on the temperature of your oil — don't let your bread crumbs burn. They should get brown and golden brown.
Once golden brown on each side, the cutlets should be placed back into the glass dish and coated with sauce to your taste. Choose whichever sauce you prefer — we love tomato and basil, but ran out!
Place the dish in your preheated oven for roughly 12 minutes, depending on your tastes. Five minutes into the time in the oven, place cheese over the cutlets and allow to bake the rest of the way.
While letting the cutlets perfectly finish, give some attention to your pasta. Drain the boiling water, as the noodles should be al-dente now.
Don't rinse, but place the noodles back into the warm pan (not on the same hot stove location) and coat with sauce per your tastes.
After your cheese is golden, you're ready to plate this dish and enjoy!
The result of this dish should be a perfectly-cooked cutlet of chicken that is both tender and savory.
Here are a few tips that could help elevate the dish to another level:
Season the flour to increase the flavor of the chicken. Include seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and pepper.
If running low on eggs, mix in a touch of milk to extend the life of your mixture.
Never use the spiked side of a meat hammer, just the blunt side.