Thursday, April 10, 2014

Drunken Chicken Parmigiana

Pasta dishes - what's your absolute favorite? I have quite a few which are on my top 3 list, making it hard to really choose an ultimate favorite. One of those that makes my list is a good Chicken Parmigiana. This version comes from the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person over the past summer and I think she's done really well for herself. She's also a food blogger, turned Food Network superstar and mom. On weekend mornings, I'll have the Food Network channel on tv in the background while I'm putzing around the house and when her show comes on, I've found myself on the couch tuning in. That said, I've starting paying more attention to the recipes on her site and this specific recipe is one of them. Truly a comforting dish to me, seasoned chicken breasts are fried until golden brown before topping with a rich, flavorful tomato sauce and cheese. It's crunchy, cheesy, and defnitely a great dish to serve with spaghetti...

The original recipe calls for preparing the entire dish in one skillet. I may have to try that next time, but one of the things I like about chicken parmigiana is the crunchy chicken after it's been fried. I don't want to lose that texture so instead, I kept the fried chicken warm in a preheated oven while my sauce finished cooking. If you wanted the ease in cooking in one skillet, the fried chicken would settle into the sauce and simmer away until the cheese melts. Either way, it's still really good regardless of the texture. I enjoyed this dish for 2 or maybe even 3 nights, with enough leftover to send home with The Baron. He enjoyed it too - enough to take the leftover home lol.

And as for sauce, I used Victoria's Fine Foods Classic Vodka sauce.This rich and creamy sauce is full of Romano and Parmesan cheeses and a touch of vodka added to their marinara base sauce. I liked how it worked well with the wine reduction too! 

Chicken Parmigiana
recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

4 whole (up To 6) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed & pounded flat
1/2 cup all-purpose flour {or GF flour blend}
1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
Salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups red wine
1 jar (25 oz.) vodka sauce, store bought or homemade
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1 cup freshly grated or shredded parmesan cheese
1 pound spaghetti {or GF spaghetti}


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Over a medium high heat, boil a large pot of water for your pasta. Cook spaghetti per package directions  until al dente.

Combine flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together on a large plate or pie dish. Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Remove when done, place on baking sheet and place in preheated oven to keep warm.

In the same skillet after frying up all the chicken, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Carefully pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Reduce the wine in the skillet by half, about 2-3 minutes.

Pour in the jarred vodka sauce into the skillet and stir to combine with the wine reduction. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for another 7-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss cooked spaghetti with some of the skillet sauce to combine. Place pasta on a place and add the chicken breast on top. Add more sauce on top of the chicken and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese; garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.