Monday, December 22, 2014

Chicken parm birthday dinner

What to make for a birthday dinner? Chicken parm fit the bill.

Chicken parm birthday dinner

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I got the text from my son first thing in the morning on his girlfriend’s birthday. “I want to make a birthday dinner tonight. Can you send a good easy recipe.”
I’m happy anytime my kids cook instead of resorting to take out, but I was especially thrilled that he wanted to cook a special meal instead of going out.
“How about the scallops we made over the weekend,” I suggested via text.
“Eh, no scallops,” he shot back. “What else you got?”
“What does she like?” I queried. “Fish or meat?”
Why did I bother to ask?
“Meat!” was his reply.
Well, at least he was just doing steaks on the grill, he was actually looking for a recipe. I suggested a pork roast with vegetables, an easy, but elegant dish.
“Boom! Send the recipe!”
But moments later, he was having second thoughts.
“Chicken parm, I decided,” he texted, naming one of his favorite dinners. “Do you have a good recipe?”
I explained that it was just like the eggplant parmesan I had made often and that recipe was already on the blog.
“You just saute the chicken breast, then spoon tomato sauce on top, layer some cheese over that, and bake it in the oven.”
“Perfecto, can you send the recipe?”
“Haha! I thought I just did.”
I did email the recipe, and he actually made the dish before me, texting me a photo at 8:20 that night.
“Impressive!” I texted back, and I meant it. The photo really did look delicious.
“How did it taste?”
“Really great!”
Slowly, meal, by meal, I may convince these children of mine, that cooking is worth the effort.
Chicken Parmesan
Makes 2 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon each, chopped: fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (3 ounces each) chicken cutlets
¾ cup marinara sauce
¼ cup shredded mozzarella
Fresh basil, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil. Heat a heavy, large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
3. Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of mozzarella over each cutlet. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil.
— From Giada De Laurentiis
Per serving: 507 calories, 54 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams sugar, 24 grams fat, 161 milligrams cholesterol, 604 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

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About this blog

Maureen Fitzgerald, Inquirer food editor, has been cooking dinner for 30 years. Her blog started with teaching her daughter, but has been continuing for the past two years with school children, this fall with fifth graders from Russell Byers Charter in Phila. The program continues to expand with 32 volunteers teaching 75 children in 15 classes this fall in Phila and Camden, in partnership with the Vetri Foundation for Children.

Reach My Daughter's at mfitzgerald@phillynews.com.

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