Anyone need some comfort food?
I know I do.
There is no doubt that this week has taken a psychological toll on everyone. I think it is good to go back to the simple things that help us care for ourselves and each other.
Somehow, despite the discord out there, and all the things we wish were different, I am finding so much deep peace in here. It might be because I really did find a deep gratitude after reading Present Over Perfect in my day to day. It might be because I am lost in another world as I try to finish my final edits of my first novel, which will be published soon. The people in that world are broken and trying to find love and peace, and I know how that story turns out, so it gives me hope for the real world.
Maybe it’s because even before the election, I’ve been trying to root myself deeply in gratitude and love, and in the people around me that I feel deeply connected too. In the simple act of making dinner and being together. My heart is with the Beatitudes, and my hands are busy chopping and feeding and typing. I am feeling deeply grateful for things like a warm house, a chilly fall run with friends, tucking my kids into cozy beds at night. It might not be exactly what we want to wake up to the next day, and there is plenty of uncertainty, but there is still love and hope and joy.
So here is a simple dinner we have been loving. I have made this easy Chicken Parmesan three times in the last two weeks. When I posted this on Instagram stories, people asked me for the recipe, so I thought I’d make it official. It is comfort food at its best, great for a family meal and even better the next day with some roasted broccoli and cauliflower for lunch (trust me, you have to try this combo).
I call this Easy Chicken Parm because other then a quick dredge and fry, this is really just assembly. I love the fresh spinach in here because there is no fiddling with a frozen hunk of spinach that I always, always burn myself on when I try to drain the water out after a thawing it in the microwave. I sprinkle it with garlic salt because spinach + garlic = yum.
I am also sure to season the chicken breasts very well after I pound them. And you can use fresh grated parm or the kind from the green can in this recipe. I have used both depending on what I have around.
I pretty much just want to make a tray of this for the whole world.
You all already know how I feel about Rao’s Sauce, but it makes this dish incredible, so I feel the need to point you there yet again. The big jar is on sale here.
Hope you find some long walks, warm baths or fireplaces, and lots of hugs with real people, not just people on the Internet. And make a pan of this for them, when you get the chance.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Easy Chicken Parmesan (printer version here):
4-6 chicken breasts, pounded until even and about ½ inch thick
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
¾ cup grated parm
¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
¼ cup olive oil
4 cups fresh spinach
2 jars of favorite spaghetti sauce (you already know I love Rao’s)
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 box of penne or favorite pasta, cooked according to package
Preheat oven to 350, and heat oil in large frying pan on medium-high heat (I often use two pans to cook all the chicken breasts at the same time).
Prepare chicken by pounding thin, then season with salt and pepper.
Arrange dredging station: using either flat pans or shallow bowls,put flour in one, egg in another, and the mixture of grated parm (the kind from the jar works well her but I have used freshly grated too, they are both good) and breadcrumbs in a third.
When oil is hot, dredge each thin breast into the flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture.
Lay in pan and cook on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Remove when golden and set aside on a plate.
Layer bottom of 9 x 12 baking dish with sauce, then sprinkle half the spinach. Season with ½ teaspoon garlic salt. Layer chicken on top of spinach, then add more spinach and the rest of the sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella and sprinkle with oregano. Bake until cheese is starting to brown and sauce is bubbly, about 25-30 minutes.
Serve with pasta if desired.