Last night was the first time I’ve cooked a real dinner in more than a week. I’ve made dinner, yes…but a spinach and feta omelet every single night isn’t quite the same as a home-cooked meal. I needed to make something with an actual recipe.
I wanted it to be meaty. And saucy.
I’ve only had it a few times in my life, but I had a feeling that chicken Parmesan was the way to go. And I felt confident once I’d decided to modify Cooking Light’s healthy oven-fried Chicken Parmesan recipe slightly and then top it with the Eat, Live, Run chicken Parmesan pepperoni twist.
I was fantasizing hardcore about my saucy, cheesy chicken creation for a good hour, but something was bothering me. I just had no desire to make it with pasta. That just sounded so…blah.
I really wanted it…on a sandwich?
It just sounded better that way but…is that even a thing???
Or was putting in on a bun going to make me half-white trash?
I asked the Twitterverse. They said I should go for it. I briefly considered that maybe all bad, trashy decisions start with group approval in this same way…but then I went ahead and risked it. Because I may love good food, but I love all food. And that includes trashy food.
This is How We Do It
Combine 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/4 tsp of salt in a shallow dish. Crack two egg whites into another shallow dish. And then put about 3/4 cup panko in another shallow dish (all my shallow dishes are now in the dishwasher). Take four 6-ounce chicken breasts and cut them in half at a diagonal. Take them through your shallow dishes: flour mixture, then egg whites, then panko, coating on all sides along the way. Set on a plate.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and fry lightly for 2-4 minutes (probably more like 4 minutes; just check it so it doesn’t burn!). Remove from the pan, add 1 more tbsp olive oil, and add the chicken back to the pan, frying the opposite side for another 2-4 minutes. Once it’s crispy and golden, snuggle the chicken pieces in a baking dish and cover with 1/2 jar of tomato sauce and top with about 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Then top with pepperoni.
Pop it in a 450 degree oven and bake for 18 minutes.
Right before it’s finished, steam some veggies and top with butter and then split open a white sub roll. Depending on the size of your chicken pieces, you may have to cut them again slightly, but you should be able to fit two diagonal-cut pieces on the roll.
It. Was. So. Good.
And not really trashy at all, right?
I loved it. Eric loved it.
The chicken was tender and juicy and the pepperoni added a little kick. It was super filling and very satisfying. It was good enough to stand alone without any carb, but on a sandwich was the perfect way to eat it last night.
The moral of the story: Even if it seems trashy, if you’re craving it in your buns, then you have to slip the meat into your buns.
Question of the day…what is your favorite “trashy” food? You know, that thing from your childhood that you love, but then you tell someone about it, and they wince and shame you for it? No judgments here!