Once upon a time I did not always cook as much as I do now.
Once upon a time I steamed a Perdue "Perfect Portions" chicken breast in the microwave, shredded it over steamed frozen mixed vegetables, topped it with salsa, and parked myself in front of the TV. Sometimes I topped it with a dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar "dressing" that, when warmed, smelled like feet (according to Meredith).
Once upon a time I ate that exact same thing for dinner every night of the week.
What can I say? Cooking didn't always inspire me. Probably because I didn't always know how easy and cheap it is to make a healthy and complete meal for myself that didn't involve the microwave or making someone else gag. Stupid!
This is, oh, I don't know, the 100th or so chicken recipe I've probably posted, but I promise that my culinary situation is not hopeless once again. This chicken is crispy, baked to perfection, and smothered in a hearty marinara sauce over creamy orzo pasta.
And really, I think marinara can visit as often as it wants, don't you? I don't think I've made a red sauce that my husband hasn't
Maybe just don’t make out with anyone right after eating it? Or do. Whatever. Maybe you like that sort of thing. I used to like rubbery chicken with feet sauce. I don't judge.
Crispy Chicken Marinara
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Yields 4 servings
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 c onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c red wine
1 1/2 c lower-sodium marinara sauce
1/3 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
5 tbs water, divided
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 c egg substitute (or 1 large egg, beaten)
1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs
2 c hot cooked orzo pasta
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Heat 1 tbs of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot, and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
Add in the wine, and let this cook down for 2 minutes. Stir in the marinara sauce, olives, and 1/4 c water. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Nestle the chicken breasts in the sauce. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is almost done. Remove the chicken from the pan, and set aside.
Preheat the broiler to high. Combine the remaining 1 tbs water and the egg substitute (or egg) in a shallow dish. Combine half the cheese and all of the breadcrumbs in another shallow dish. Coat the chicken with the egg mixture, and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture, shaking to remove excess breadcrumbs.
Heat the remaining 1 tbs of the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, and saute for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned.