It’s been a few weekends since I saw my Main Squeeze, but he came to visit this weekend…..so, naturally I had to feed him!! Our running joke is that he only eats chicken, because that’s all he wanted to eat the first weekend he came to see me. Before I fed him, he decided he needed to take me out on an actual date, so Friday night that’s what we did. We headed downtown for pizza and drinks……nothing like a night on the town with my Squeeze!!
Saturday night was chicken dinner at home before some quality time with my Squeeze, my Bitch Faced Bestie, the Hubby in Law, and Cards Against Humanity. A easy and favorite recipe is Chicken Parmesan, so I decided that I’d make that and some fancy Pinterest inspired garlic pull apart bread. It’s one of those recipes that comes out of the oven looking fancy, but it’s really quite simple to put together. Best yet, it’s fast. It takes about half an hour for me to get it all prepped and in the oven baking away.
We waited a bit late in the day to start making dinner, so we were hungry by the time it came out of the oven. I didn’t stop to take pictures of the finished products…..sorry about that!
Things you will need:
- 1/2 Italian Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1 Egg
- 1 Package Chicken Breasts or Tenderloins
- 1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 Pound Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- Italian Spices : Basil, Thyme, Garlic Powder, Cayenne
- Small Loaf of Bread
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil Plus More for Frying the Chicken
- 3 Tbs Butter
I bought one of the “Bake at Home” loaves of bread, so I threw that in the oven for 15 minutes while I got the chicken prep ready. Honestly, I’m not sure it did much of anything for the bread, and considering that you’re stuffing the bread with yumminess and putting it in the oven, I’d probably skip that step when I do this again.
Get your chicken started by setting up your breading station. I like to add salt and pepper to the flour and jazz up the bread crumbs by adding a good dash of all the Italian spices. Even if I buy the “Italian” breadcrumbs, I still add extra spice! Crack the egg into a dish, add a splash of water, and beat to mix. Then just process your chicken through the three stations. Flour, egg, crumbs! Place the chicken in a large pan with a generous amount of olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Cook just to brown up the breading and create a nice crust. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken through, the oven will take care of that.
Open the sauce and add a thin layer to your favorite baking pan. I find a normal 9×13 to be a bit large for a single package of chicken, but it would certainly work. I have a smaller Pyrex baker I use. I have to squish the chicken in a bit, but it works just fine! Once the chicken has been browned on both sides, place it into the baking pan on top of the sauce. Continue the breading, cooking, placing process until all of you chicken is in the baking dish. Use the remaining sauce to cover the chicken, and top with about 3/4 of the bag of shredded cheese. You could get fancy and top the chicken with a mix of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but I didn’t have any Parm in the house. Bake at 375 for about 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned, and the chicken is cooked through.
Using a bread knife…….which I don’t actually own…..slice the bread in 1 inch diagonal sections twice, you’ll end up with small diamonds that you can pull out and eat. Just don’t cut all the way through the loaf, just go down to the bottom crust. I’ve decided that I think it’s impossible to keep the bread looking nice and poofy and cute once this is all done. Just accept the slight visual fail because it tastes the same, even if it’s a bit smooshed.
Place the minced garlic, butter, and 2 Tbs of olive oil in a small sauté pan. Melt everything together and cook the garlic slightly, stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn. While that’s going, stuff the remaining 1/4 pound of shredded cheese, or cheese blend, into the slices. Place the loaf on a piece of foil, and drizzle the garlic oil over the whole thing. Tent with a piece of foil, and toss the whole thing into the oven. Cook 10 minutes covered and an additional 5-10 uncovered to brown up the cheese.
It was an easy and cute at home date night.
Yes, you’ll end up with garlic breathe, but at least you’ll have garlic breathe together!