27 June, 2018
Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Parmesan
I have been loving my new cast iron skillet! Now that I know how to clean it, I’ve been using it almost weekly, and the dinners that come out of it are out of this world. Personally, I’m a fan of chicken and fish, and now that I’ve ventured into the realm of cast iron cooking, my options have increased greatly. This dinner especially is one I’m super excited about because it’s my first experience starting a meal on the stove top and then finishing it in the oven. The final product is bursting with flavor and is so juicy, you’ll never want to order chicken parmesan at a restaurant again — It just won’t be as good!
Something else I’ve been dabbling in is wine pairing, so tonight’s dinner features a suggested pairing with Merlot. If you decide to go the route of making your own sauce for this dinner, I recommend using the wine you plan on drinking with dinner in your sauce. It will tie everything together nicely and bring out subtle flavors in your dinner when you have a sip of wine between bites. Whatever you choose to do, the most important thing to remember is that this meal is an adventure, and that tomato sauce and chicken are both prime subjects for experimentation for the novice chef. Play with spices, tinker with seasonings, and see what you like best! Now go forth and cook — Mangia!
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 Chicken breasts
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup Flour
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup Seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup Onion and pepper pasta sauce (or homemade!)
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bottle Merlot (for drinking!)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and add the olive oil to a cast iron skillet, swirling the oil around to coat the bottom of the pan, and place it over medium high heat.
Line your cutting board with a piece of plastic wrap. Trim and then salt and pepper both sides of your chicken breasts. Cut a lengthwise slice partway through each breast to make a pocket and stuff the pocket with some of the cheese. Make yourself a sort of assembly line between your cutting board and the frying pan: Spread the flour out in a large dish and place it next to the cutting board. Next to the flour plate, place the beaten egg in either a wide bowl or a dish with high enough sides that it won’t spill. Next, between the egg and the frying pan, set out another large plate and mix together the bread crumbs and the grated parmesan.
One at a time, take the chicken breasts and dredge them first through the flour, coating the entire outside of the breasts. Then, coat the breasts in the egg. From the egg, dredge the breasts through the bread crumb and cheese mix, and finally, place the breasts in the hot pan. Cook the chicken for about four minutes on each side, or until it’s golden brown.
Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the pasta sauce over the chicken, making sure to get it over the top of the breasts and around the pan. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded mozzarella and, if you’d like, the hot pepper flakes, over the top of each breast and place the pan in the center rack of your oven. Cook the chicken in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and, taking care to only touch the pan with oven mitts or potholders in your hands, spoon a pool of the remaining sauce onto your plates before placing the chicken atop the sauce. Serve with your favorite vegetables and a glass of Merlot, and enjoy!