I am a big fan of smaller scaled meals, especially where there are only two of us in our home most of the time. I am also a fan of one pan suppers, coz, well, who wants to spend hours washing a ton of dishes if you can get the job done with only one! That's why dishes like this Skillet Chicken Parm are really popular in my house!
I have always loved Chicken Parm, but its been several years since I have been able to eat it. I got really sick a few years back and one of the things I had eaten prior to that was some Chicken Parm, and . . . well . . . 'nuff said!
Funny how that goes, or maybe not so funny! I recently started to feel like I could just about stomach it again.
This version differs from the regular Chicken Parm in that there is no fuss and muss of breading chicken and frying it. You crisp up some bread crumbs in butter until golden brown and then reserve them until the very end.
You then saute two well seasoned, boneless, skinless chicken breasts until they are nicely coloured. They, too, get set aside.
After that you create a nicely flavoured honeyed tomato marinara sauce. You make it just a bit thinner than normal because you are going to add some dry pasta to it . . .
You nestle the partially cooked chicken breasts into that, cover it and then cook for about 18 to 20 minutes, just until the pasta is tender and the chicken is cooked through. At the end you scatter some cheese over top and cover it again to melt the cheese, and then the crisp crumbs get scattered over top along with a bit of chopped Basil.
Just like magic, you have a delicious dinner for two, with only one pan to wash up. All you need on the side is perhaps some garlic bread and a salad. Dinner is served!
*Skillet Chicken Parm*Serves 2
1 TBS butter
For the chicken:
1 TBS butter2 boneless, skiless chicken breasts
For the sauce:
1 small onion, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp each dried oregano, dried thyme
1 tsp honey
salt and black pepper to taste1 (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes in juice (1 14 oz tin)
Melt the butter for the crumb topping in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crumbs. Cook, stirring, until golden brown. Tip out into a bowl and set aside. Wipe the pan clean. Rub the chicken breasts all over with the Italian seasoning, pepper flakes and salt. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for aboug 3 1/2 minutes on one side, until golden brown, then flip them over and cook for another 3 1/2 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add the onion for the sauce to the pan drippings. Cook over medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Ad the tomatoes, undrained, water, herbs, honey and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, stirring to coat well. The mixture should be fairly loose at this stage, if it isn't add a few TBS of water. Nestle the partially cooked chicken into the sauce. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 18 to 20 minutes until the pasta is tender and the chicken is cooked through. The juices should run clear. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the cheeses over the chicken. Cover and let stand for several minutes to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and basil. Serve.
In a dish like this, the tomatoes are the star. Make sure you use a really quality tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice. I favour Cirio brand Italian tomatoes. They use only the finest ripe Italian Plum tomatoes, carved into large pieces to preserve the quality, consistency and intense flavours of Italy. They're rich and delicious!
I think you could easily double this recipe by using a larger skillet and doubling the ingredients in order to feed four people. This fed the two of us amply. Todd is not all that fussy about pasta, but he enjoyed this. Bon Appetit!