I really wanted chicken parm and and spaghetti this week. I’m also trying to avoid heavy starches like pasta. Wait until you see what I used instead. This recipe includes chicken parm, tomato sauce, and slow braised asparagus with garlic and lemon.
When I told my friend I was working on a chicken parm recipe, he looked at my like I had two heads. As if, ‘chicken parm’ was beneath the merits of Eat Up! Kitchen. Believe me, there is nothing greater than an all from scratch homemade chicken parm. Actually, it took me several years to get this just right. No one ever taught me how to make chicken parm but I figured it out on my own before there were youtube videos around to show us how to do everything. Two things I had to figure out, which of course are obvious now; (1) slice the chicken in half before you pound it flat, and (2) cook over a medium low heat. Also, make your own sauce and use really good cheese.
Many families have grandma’s handed down Italian tomato sauce recipe that could never be altered or diverted from. I don’t have that and I don’t subscribe to one sauce fits all. In fact, I could have easily made three different sauces just for this chicken parm. This sauce is one of a few basic recipes I have; whole San Marzano canned tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, red pepper, and black pepper.
When it came to the greens for the plate, I decided on in-season organic asparagus. But, I’m bored of steamed, roasted, or sautéed asparagus. I ended up using a 1/3 cup of quality olive oil to braise the asparagus with garlic in a covered pan for about a half hour. They were melt in your mouth delicious. Half way through, I squeezed the juice of half a lemon in to the pan before covering it back up. It was all well balanced without the lemon or garlic over powering the bright asparagus flavor.
For the spaghetti, I used this Explore Cuisine Organic Soy Bean Spaghetti. It’s actually really good. It doesn’t exactly taste like pasta, but it has a nice al dente texture, it’s filling, very healthy, and it does what spaghetti was designed to do; deliver tomato sauce to your mouth hole.
Chicken Parm with Soy Bean Spaghetti and Braised Asparagus
- 1 whole chicken breast, sliced horizontally in half and pounded flat
- 2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 1 cup ap flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- dried oregano
- corn oil
- Mozzarella Cheese, whole milk reduced moisture block, 1/8" slices.
- 1 28oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 5 leaves basil, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- juice of half a lemon
- coarse salt
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, add olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally for at least 30 minutes.
- Sauce is done when it's thick and deep red in color.
- Preheat oven to 400 °F
- Add 1/4 cup of tomato sauce to a 9x12 casserole pan, spread evenly on bottom.
- Prep your three dishes with flour, egg and bread crumbs.
- Combine 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper and 2 teaspoons oregano with breadcrumbs.
- Lightly season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Dredge both sides of chicken in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, shaking off excess each time. Set aside on a cooling rack to dry.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1/2 cup corn oil,
- Oil is hot when a small piece of chicken sizzles on contact.
- Fry each side of chicken for 6-8 minutes or until deep golden brown.
- Set aside on cooking rack or paper towels.
- Arrange chicken in casserole pan and cover with tomato sauce, reserving 1 cup for pasta.
- Top with slices of cheese.
- Heat in oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.
- In a wide skillet or sauce pan, heat oil and garlic for a minute on medium-low heat. Should not be hot enough for garlic to brown.
- Add asparagus and cover, stirring occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, add the juice of half a lemon and return lid. Cook for another 10-15 minutes.
- Before serving, finish with a quick squeeze of lemon and some coarse sea salt.