Skillet Chicken Parmesan

I am finally back to my blogging (yay, yay, yay..happy dance)! I finally have the kitchen of my dreams after living in my dumpy old kitchen that has remained EXACTLY the same as when it was built in the late 60’s. It was ugly in a million different ways. Now I love being in my kitchen. I happily spend plrnty of time there everyday. I love, love, love it!! I have been happily cooking to my hearts content. This is a recipe that I found on the net a while back, but have finally tried it out. I made a few changes to lighten things up and made the chicken tender and juicy by slow cooking it.

Here is the original recipe:

Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 6 thinner chicken cutlets
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded provolone or sharp provolone cheese
Hot spaghetti noodles for serving
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
In a large 12-inch skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Thoroughly dry the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the seasoned chicken pieces in the flour, coating both sides. Gently place 3-4 of the chicken pieces in the hot oil and cook for 3 minutes and then flip and cook 3 minutes longer until a nice golden crust has formed on the chicken (they’ll continue to cook in a later step). Remove the chicken to a plate and continue with the remaining pieces, removing them to the plate when they have been browned.
Wipe the skillet of excess oil and pour the sauce contents in the bowl into the skillet, taking care of splatters if the skillet is still piping hot. Turn the heat to medium and gently nestle the pieces of browned chicken into the sauce, making room for all six chicken breast cutlets. The chicken should be mostly covered with the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer the sauce and chicken on medium or medium low for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the chicken isn’t sticking to the bottom of the skillet. If so, turn the heat down a bit.
Uncover the skillet, sprinkle the mozzarella, provolone and remaining Parmesan cheese over the chicken and sauce. Cover and cook for five more minutes, or until cheese is nicely melted.
Serve over hot spaghetti noodles, if desired.

Here are my changes:

I pounded my meat so that it was about 1/2″ thick and after I added the chicken to the sauce I simmered it at a really low setting for about 30 to 45 minutes (or even longer). I did check the chicken a few times to make sure it wasn’t sticking. By cooking it low and slow I kept the chicken tender.

I opted to not add the parm to the sauce. Instead I topped individual pieces of chicken with just a little bit of parm, mozzarella, and provolone for the last five minutes of cooking. By doing it this way I cut way back on the amount of cheese used in the recipe.

I served the chicken over some whole wheat pasta and the family loved it.

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Mexican Pizzas

This is a really simple meal that my mom used to make us when I was a kid. It is so easy to make and everyone in my house loves them. We used to fry the tortillas in oil before we topped them and baked them in the oven. Instead of getting the artery clogging oil out, I spray my skillet with some Pam to crisp up the tortillas. I also make ours double decker instead of single layer. This helps to fill up my growing boy who seems to be hungry all of the time. I just cleaned out his pants drawer and literally every pair looks like he is preparing for the floods to come. This whole growing thing is costing me money!!

Mexican Pizzas

Tortillas (however many it takes to make 2 per member of your family)
Taco Meat
Shredded Cheese
Refried Beans
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Tomatoes (mmm…fresh out of the garden is the best)
Salsa
Corn
Sour Cream
Chopped Avocados

Heat on tortillas on skillet until crispy. Spread beans on tortilla, top with another tortilla, spread layer of taco meat and cheese. Bake in hot oven until cheese is melted. Put on what ever toppings sound good to you and cut into slices like a pizza.

Swedish Pancakes

Every year my mom would make us delicious “rolled up pancakes” for our birthday breakfast. They were so tasty spread with fresh strawberry jam and a dusting of powdered sugar. I can remember how it felt to sit at my kitchen table while my mom swirled the batter around in a round pan. Sometimes we would even get two pans going at the same time so that the wait time was shorter. Honestly, thinking about it makes my mouth water a little. The rolled up pancakes (aka swedish pancakes) are very similar to a crepe, but the batter is a little thicker. If you plan on making these for a crowd it is a good idea to get started in advance and store them in a warm oven while you go. This specific recipe comes from a cookbook my cousin made from my Grandma’s recipes. She decided to compile the recipes after my grandma had started to loose her memory and had to be moved to a rest home. She was a wonderful cook and it is fun to be able to cook some of her classics.

Swedish Pancakes

3 eggs
1 1/4 c milk
3/4 c flour (or more)
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt

Possible Fillings:
jam
butter
powdered sugar
cut up fruit
maple syrup

Mix together in a blender and pour into a well greased, hot, round saute pan.

The key is to swirl the pan as your pour the batter in until it is coated. Cook one and see if you want to tweak the flour or milk to make it a good consistency.

Beefy Sandwiches (my version of a sloppy joe style sandwich)

This is my take on a sloppy joe like sandwich. It is made of ground beef and is a little bit saucy, although it doesn’t have the traditional tomato base and has a whole different taste. The end result is a scoopable, meaty sandwich. It is so easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time. The one thing about this recipe is that I can give you an ingredient list, but you get to play the quantities to see what suits your taste buds. That being said, lets begin.

Beef Sandwich

1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/3 of finely chopped green pepper
1/2 small onion finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
enough worcestershire sauce to make the beef saucy
4 to 6 provolone cheese slices

Brown ground beef, onions and green pepper. Add mushrooms, s&p and worcestershire and simmer a little. Place the cheese on top and cover until cheese is melted. Spoon meat and cheese onto bun and enjoy.

Honey Garlic Chicken

This is another delicious slower cooker chicken recipe that is soooo easy.

Honey Garlic Chicken

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey

The Directions.

Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if using a 6-quart, this will cook faster. Check after 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low).
Put the chicken into your cooker. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top.
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 (I’d go with low—).
Serve with basmati rice and steamed vegetables.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

I made this yummy recipe on a soccer game night. This season we have had two games on friday evenings and two games on saturday evenings (have I mentioned how grateful I am for carpools?). Can you say unavailability for any social life whatsoever? Even though we were a little frustrated with the double weekend scheduling, we enjoyed each and every game. Now it is over and we will have to wait until fall to enjoy the games again. I cooked the chicken for 4 hours on high and as I ran out the door I threw some rice in the rice cooker. Everything was hot a delicious and waiting for us.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

½ cups Low Sodium Soy Sauce
½ cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
3 teaspoons Fresh Grated Ginger
1 teaspoon Fresh minced Garlic
4 Chicken Breasts, Boneless And Skinless

Mix together the soy sauce and brown sugar. Pop in the ginger and garlic and stir.
Add the chicken and turn to coat with the sauce. Cover and cook on High for 4-5 hours, turning the meat once halfway through the cooking.

I serve this with brown rice and my rice hater even liked this meal.

Buttermilk Pancakes

The son in my house is a huge pancake fan. You can ask him at any given time of any day and he will tell you he wants pancakes or waffles. He gets this from his grandpa Steve who also likes pancakes. It must be a genetic thing because I am a pretty big fan myself. Pancakes make a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner. That being said, when I am not being lazy and using a mix, I like to make this extra yummy recipe. These are light and fluffy with a texture that you can’t just get from a mix.

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 eggs
2 c buttermilk (I have found that I need 3 c, but you can mix it and see what you like)
4 T oil
1 t bs
2 t bp
1 t salt
2 t sugar
1 1/2 to 2 c (I use 1/2 white and half wheat)

Mix wet ingredients in bowl and sift in dry ingredients. Don’t over mix batter, there should be lumps. Pour by the 1/4 c full onto a hot oiled griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides. You can play with the flour and buttermilk measurements until you find the consistency that you like.

Enjoy!

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