Friday, September 9, 2011

Pepperoni Baked Chicken Parmesan

Up until today, chicken Parmesan was one food that I never thought could get any better.  It's usually what I tend to order whenever I go out to eat at an Italian restaurant.  For some reason I just love the breaded chicken dishes, and the wonderful thing about chicken Parmesan is the fact that it's also topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese.  Mmmmm......melted cheese, whatever could be better than that? (well....except for maybe burnt cheese)

Anyway....back to what I was saying.  Oh yes, chicken Parmesan.  That was what the plan was, for the dinner menu this evening, but I really wanted to go and watch a local high school football game.  That meant I would not have much time to actually make dinner.  Therefore, I knew I would have to improvise and change the way I made things.  I'm glad that I did too, because the end result was fabulous!  This is definitely a recipe I will make often and it's also a meal that's very quick and easy!

Pepperoni Baked Chicken Parmesan
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Serves 4
2 large chicken breasts, butterflied
dash of salt and pepper
2 large eggs
½ cup flour
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
½ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. dried parsley
¼ tsp. basil
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 oz. pepperoni

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place a wire rack over a baking sheet and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a shallow bowl or pie plate, gently whisk together the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, oregano, dried parsley, basil, and red pepper flakes.  In another shallow bowl or pie plate whisk together the 2 eggs.  You will also need another pie plate to place the flour in.

Now, butterfly the chicken breasts in half, so that you have a total of 4 pieces.  Lightly season both sides with a dash of salt and pepper.  Using tongs, or a fork, and working with one piece of chicken at a time, coat both sides of the chicken by placing it in the flour.  Shake lightly to remove any extra flour.  Then, dip the chicken into the eggs, coating both sides and letting any excess drip off.  Finally place the piece of chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure that each side is evenly coated.  You may need to use your hands for this.  Transfer the prepared chicken to the wire rack and repeat the process with the remaining pieces of chicken.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top the pieces of chicken with a little of the marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and slices of pepperoni.  Place the baking sheet back into the oven and let bake for another 6-8 minutes.

If desired, serve over noodles, garnish with a little fresh parsley, and serve with a side salad or a piece of garlic bread.  


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