dinner tonight

i've never been the girl who makes dinner.
at home, i'd put the rolls in the oven, or usually just make some brownies or cookies or other chocolatey heaven for dessert.
and college meals have consisted of pasta and sauce or deli sandwiches.

so last week, when i decided to surprise ben with a full dinner all made when he came over from his first day of classes, i knew i was in for it ["it" meaning some hard work].
especially when i realized the recipe in question involved raw chicken.

butttt after a little chicken smashing incident [you'll understand in a minute], it actually turned out really well.
ben said so himself.
without further ado, here is the Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Chicken, with some novice chef's [read:mine] comments.
and it's easy enough that i could do it.
so you should be just fine.

necessary ingredients [to make for 5 people]:
- 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts [gross]
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt [kosher? who cares?]
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper [fancy]
- 2 extra-large eggs [who the heck knows if extra-large actually makes a difference. twss.]
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 and 1/4 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for on top [except i just used the kind in a bottle, like normal people]
- unsalted butter
- good olive oil

how to do it:
1) pound the chicken breasts until they're 1/4-inch thick. you can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin. [i used a rolling pin and had no clue what i was doing. it was so gross. i may or may not have screamed a few times. and my roommate may or may not have come running to see if i was okay. and there may or may not have been chicken bits spewed all over my kitchen. but i definitely did sanitize every possible surface afterwards. so don't worry.]

2) combine the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. then beat the eggs and 1 tbsp of water on another plate. then on a third, the bread crumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan. [*we realized that the chicken probably would be more flavorful if we put the salt in the 3rd plate, as the last thing the chicken was dipped in. so add that. or some other fancy spice. we'll probably use paprika next time. and don't be afraid to add some extra parmesan. we like things cheesy up in here.]

3) coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the junk on each plate, in succession. [dummy's guide: flour mixture, then egg mixture, then bread crumb mixture. make sure it's totally covered by each of these and has more than enough bread crumb mix but shake off the extra so it doesn't burn.]

4) heat 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan [we call it the grilled cheese pan] and cook 2 or 3 chicken breasts on medium-low heat on each side, until cooked through. [we cooked 3 at a time, but found that the 3rd one that was off to the side was kind of pink in the middle when we took it off. so just do 2. the patience will be worth it when you have leftovers that don't poison you.]

5) add more butter and oil and cook the rest of the chicken breasts until they are perfectly golden brown. [or darker golden brown. we like the crispies.]


it's so delicious.
and if you know what you're doing [i obviously didn't], it shouldn't take too too long.
also, the BF Contessa has this fancy lemon vinaigrette salad to go along with it, but i just made a box of lemon herb pasta and some peas for our sides.
i know i know, just call me Martha Stewart.

moral of the story: you should make this for dinner tonight.
you won't regret it.


Katya said...

sounds delicious! hahaha, i love the bit about being grossed out by raw chicken. i HATE touching raw meat and aaron always makes fun of me for it. way to be all domestic goddess-like!

M. Flynn said...

Chicken bits! Hahah I'm glad it ended well.

HiLLjO said...

Yay! I'm that girl who wears an apron everyday and I think you might come to enjoy cooking for your hubs.
I'm crazy; I cook everyday! I am SO going to use this recipe. Your sides sound better than a chintzy salad. Totally making lemon pasta with this.

vintch said...

the barefoot contessa is so fabulous! but, usually her recipes call for random spices or something that intimidates me. this recipe looks do-able! even for a kitchen novice like me:) thanks, sweet friend!

Hooks said...

No picture of the finished product?