There is food from a Can, and a Meal from the heart;
If you put in the Effort, You can Taste the Love !
Guaranteed to be some of the Best chicken you will ever have, And it's even Reasonably Healthy if you pan fry it !
This is a Nice Adaptable meal that will work with almost any kind of Meat / Veg / Pasta / Cheese you like !
3 types of Bell Peppers
Parmesan and Havarti Cheese
Seasoned Flour w/ Garlic, onion and Parmesan cheese
Pasta of your choice
This will be my entry for the "Super Food Challenge"
All together this meal has two servings of vegetables (per portion) and the chicken only has a light flour coating so it is also a healthy choice ! (No oil needed with a non stick pan, only 1/4 Tbs of oil per portion if needed) Not to mention it's made mostly from scratch :)
I wound up making this for my mother for her Birthday back in Dec.
This one's for you; Love you Mom !
Step 1: Roast Some Garlic
To Roast some garlic, Start by removing any loose chaff from around the bulbs ( it's not too tasty! ) then cut off the top 1/5 of the bulb. This will give the Garlic some room to Expand upwards, Rather then blowing out the sides. place it on a square of tin-foil large enough to wrap it up. Drizzle some oil over it (Any oil will work, they will just provide different tastes and nutrients) Shake some Salt and Pepper over it then throw them in the oven @350 for 45-60 min.
To Remove the goodness inside, Open the foil (while being careful of steam) and let them cool for 15 min. then just squeeze it like toothpaste ! You can save any extra in a lunch bag in the freezer.
Step 2: Grill Veggies for Sauce
Short on time? Canned Sauce will work,.
Why not make something Really Tasty !
Fire up Your Oven to 350*F or your BBQ Grill on at High.
For an Oven; Coat the veg in oil and some salt then throw them in the oven for 15-20 min on a baking tray.
For BBQ, Get the grill really hot ! (I like 500*F for Veg) then use a paper towel soaked in oil, to grease the grill. For some nice grill marks, be sure that you use room temp oil and place the Veg on the grill Before the oil heats up. This trick also works well for grilled chicken and steak ! The tomatoes won't take long at all before the skin starts to break and they just become a mess. If they start to get soft pull them off into a bowl, save any juices for the sauce. The Peppers and Zucchini Will take 15-20 min, Just keep the moving.
I wanted to make this a nice, chunky, Sauce so I kept some of the grilled Veg out of the blender, and cut them up bite sized. Pick the ones that will stand of against the Red background, for a nice visual !
Take you remaining Vegetables and cut them up to fit in the blender, Then Puree them to you satisfaction.
When you blend a hot liquid (or something with hot liquid inside, like the tomatoes) They will release Hot Steam. This steam will force the blender's lid off, And scolding hot Pasta Sauce towards your Face, Ouch! I've done that Once before, Just trust me it's not too pleasant x_x just pulse it a few times before you tighten the lid :)
If you are making Pasta to go with this meal, then Start a large pot of salted water boiling for the next step. also If you kept some of you Veg to add in later, them cover them in plastic wrap and set them aside.
Pour your pureed Veg into a large pot. Use a nice wide one so the sauce has more cooking surface. This will help it Reduce faster. Add 1/2 can of tomato paste and your Roasted Garlic. Bring to a low boil then back to med, keep stirring. Everything is already cooked; You are only reducing the Sauce. when it is cooked to the thickness you like pull if off the heat. Add the veg you set aside earlier, stir them in to let the hot sauce warm them up slowly.
Step 3: Bread and Fry the Chicken
Start by Pounding out your chicken.
Pounding the chicken will help cooking by making it thinner and giving the chicken a consistent thickness. Place your chicken breasts between two layers of plastic wrap to minimize "Splash Damage"
In a Bowl, Combine the dry ingredients in the ratio seen in the picture above. The proportions aren't critical, Just have more flour then cheese, or the texture changes. Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. then use one hand to throw the chicken into the flour, use a fork to flip the chicken over and keep the other dry to handle the breaded chicken.
Pre-Heat your best Non-Stick Frying pan to Med-High. The larger the better and and oven proof handle is a plus! Be sure the pan is hot when you add a little bit of cooking oil to the pan. Then add the chicken before the oil has a chance to heat up, just like the veg this will help leave you with some nice Golden brown Chicken :D
8-10 min later, give it a flip and cook the other side for another 5-10 min depending on how thin you pounded your chicken. Throw your pasta in the boiling water and give them a stir. Usually Pasta needs 8 min to cook, less for fresh pasta, just fallow the instructions.
Feel free to melt some of your Favorite Cheese on top. Anything can work, from Motza to Cheddar even some goat cheese would work great ! (not to mention more Parmesan lol ). I used some Jalapeno Havarti. I threw mine in the oven for 5 min.
Step 4: Bring It All Together
A few more tricks...
Toss the pasta with a small amount of sauce to help stop it from sticking
Remove the chicken from the pan, clean with paper towel, then add a little more oil. this will make both sides nice and golden brown (instead of one golden and one half burnt, half mushy side.
Adding some spices to the Sauce Really helps boost the flavor; Try Savory, Oregano and Basil for a Classic Taste !
Garlic powder is good, Roasted-Garlic powder is better !
Cooking is about having fun, and creating something Special.
Most of the ingredients can be substituted for an endless variety of possibilities !
I Hope to see a few Pic's / "I Made it" Posts
Good Luck and Happy Cooking :)