This is a bit of a blend between a Rachel Ray recipe from Classic 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook and how I normally make chicken cutlets. I used chicken tenders this time, rather than boneless skinless chicken breasts, but either would work fine. I usually slice the chicken breasts in half to make them thinner but the cutlets were about perfect.
The major areas we differed: Rachel said dip the chicken in lemon juice but I used buttermilk; I left out the red pepper flakes from the bread crumb mixture and from the sauce; and I used ordinary mozzarella because this is part of CheapCooking.com after all. 😉
The chicken was great and the marinara sauce was quite good. The combination was fantastic and the meal completed by a simple tossed salad.
Chicken Parmesan and Spaghetti
Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce
- 1/2 pound spaghetti
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 28 oz canned tomato puree
- a small handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- a pinch of dried oregano
- a small handful of fresh parsley
- 4-5 chicken tenders
- 1/4-1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- pepper to taste
- another handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed but left whole
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- enough slices of mozzarella to cover the chicken pieces
- Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Cook according to package directions, trying to time it so the pasta is done as the chicken comes out of the oven.
- Heat the oil in a pot and cook the garlic a minute or two. Watch it carefully and stir. After it sizzles and smells divine, add the pureed tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a low simmer and let it barely cook while you fix the chicke
- Pour the buttermilk into a shallow dish. (Old pie tins work great.) Put the chicken pieces in there to soak a bit while you fix the breadcrumbs. (You could also do this first and give them a bit more time in the buttermilk.)
- Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, pepper, and parsley in another flat dish.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the whole crushed garlic cloves just a few minutes to flavor the oil, then remove them. Dip the chicken pieces into the bread crumbs, turning and pressing the crumbs in so they stick. Cook the chicken pieces it the oil until done, about 4 minutes per side.
- Spread a bit of sauce on the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then lay the cutlets down. Top each cutlet with a bit more sauce, then a slice of mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is just melted.
- Drain the spaghetti, then toss with the remaining sauce.
This served 2 of us for dinner and several lunches as well.