Chicken Parmesan and I go WAY back!!!
Years ago, when Mel was just a little girl with pony tails and an adorable gap between her two front teeth, she and I would spend every Saturday having a mother/daughter day.
Sometimes we would just hang out at home and watch a Disney movie on a rented VCR (WOW! I’m really aging myself there), or color in her many coloring books.
Other times, we would go into the city and do some shopping, or catch a new movie at the theater.  For a REALLY big splurge – we would stop for lunch or dinner at her favorite restaurant- The Olive Garden.  No matter how many times we went there over the years, our order never changed.  She would always have the Fettuccine Alf redo, and I would have Chicken Parmesan.
Back then-we didn’t have a lot of money-so ordering what we thought to be ‘fancy’ dinner, was a REALLY special treat.
Later, after Mel had gone off to college, I lost interest in going to the Olive Garden.  It just wasn’t the same without her.
But, I did still crave Chicken Parmesan, so I decided to make it at home.  
 

At first I tried the recipes that called for fresh tomatoes, fresh breadcrumbs, fresh this and fresh that.  They were fine-but they certainly didn’t taste as good as they should for all that ‘extra’ work.

So I decided to experiment a bit.

For those of you who get a rash from even hearing the word -‘semi’ homemade’-I apologize-for your safety-I ask you to please stop reading now.

That’s right folks.  This recipe is not 100% homemade.  I know…me bad.  But, in my defense-this recipe is not only easier than all the ‘homemade’ versions, it also tastes WAY better.

Here is what you’ll need:

4 chicken breasts
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Italian)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
1 jar of Marina sauce-or your favorite Spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons parsley (fresh or dried)

Preheat oven to 350.  Place chicken breasts in a plastic bag (sealed tightly) and flatten until they are 1/2″ thick.

 I pound the heck of these guys with my trusty rolling pin.  (Side note:  There is a reason I only have 3 chicken breast-I will get to that in a bit.)

Beat egg and whisk in milk.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Dip chicken breasts in egg/milk mixture, and then in breadcrumbs.  Place in skillet.  Cook for 3 minutes on each side-or until brown.

 Meanwhile, pour  about a 2/3 cup of the marina or spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

  When chicken is done- place them on top of the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Pour remaining sauce on top.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and Parsley-and more mozzarella if you like it SUPER cheesy!

 Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is tender and cheese is bubbling.  Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Do you understand now-why I only used 3 chicken breasts instead of 4?  Can you believe the size of this ONE breast?  It could feed an army-or hubby for 3 lunches-(which it did!)

Now that’s what I call a meal!!!!  The salad was pretty close to the Olive Gardens-and the wine….well, that was really, really good too!

Are they any foods that bring back special memories for you?

Happy Thursday everyone!

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