Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Chicken Tender Parmigiano and Roll Over Meal

This is a great comfort meal that I hope you enjoy!! Thrifty Thursday meals are always a meal for a family of four for under $10. Today, you can get two meals out of this meal by only buying 4 hoagie or sub rolls.

1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders (or if chicken breasts are on sale you can butterfly them open and then slice into tenders)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
2 cups panko crumbs (you can also use regular bread crumbs but panko makes them crispier)
1 cup Parmesan
2 tbsp thyme (or 4-6 fresh sprigs)
2 tbsp parsley (or a couple of handfuls of fresh)
2 tbsp basil (or 4-6 leaves, chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (finely minced or use microplane to grate)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup cheese or a few slices (mozzarella or provolone)
parmesan for topping
Tomato Sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

Make your tomato sauce ahead of time (takes 45 minutes to simmer). It will be enough to put half of it in the freezer or save it for another meal later in the week.

Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of EVOO (a few times around the pan).

While it is heating, prepare dipping trays. In one, place the two eggs, whisked. In another, place the flour. In the third, mix together panko, Parmesan, thyme, parsley, basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Season each tender liberally with salt and pepper. First, dip tender into flour (shaking off excess). Then, dip it in the egg mixture. Lastly, coat in bread crumb mixture pressing the chicken into the mixture to coat thickly and evenly.

Begin frying your tenders in the EVOO (3-4 minutes on each side until they are golden). They do not have to be cooked all the way through. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan. You might have to do a couple batches. As each batch finishes, place them on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet or paper towels underneath.

In a 9x13 casserole pan, place 1 1/2 to 2 cups of tomato sauce. Place chicken tenders on top of the sauce in a single layer. Put a spoonful of sauce on each tender. Then, top with shredded cheese or slices of cheese. Sprinkle with some Parmesan. Bake for 10-15 minutes. You might want to turn the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes just to slightly brown the cheese.

You can make this dairy free by just leaving the cheese out of the bread crumb mixture. Then, when you assemble it just leave off the cheese or put cheese on those that can have it and leave a few tenders without cheese.

Great roll over meal: Open hoagie rolls (flat but still connected), place on a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO and toast in the oven on 425 degrees. Once toasted, rub a garlic clove over each piece. The heat will melt it onto the bread. Spread a spoonful or two of sauce on bottom side of hoagie. Top with chicken. Sprinkle with cheese and put under the broiler in the oven just until cheese is melted. The other night I also put a couple of pieces of pepperoni on top of the sauce (before the layer of chicken) and I caramelized some onions and placed them on top of the chicken layer. YUMMY!!


Me. said...

Looks yummy! You could also use soy cheese. (found your blog when searching for lime rice chicken). I have a dairy free preschooler and we use Veggie Shreds soy cheese often. It melts wonderfully.

Talia said...

Definitely! We did the dairy free/soy free for 2 years when we thought my son was allergice. It turns out he isn't (immune issues). I'm thankful I don't have to pay so much attention to foods. But, it is so much easier now with all of the specialty/natural grocery stores.

I love this good!

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