I love Italian food, but one thing about it puzzles me: You often seem to have to choose between meat and vegetables. Meat Lasagna or Vegetable Lasagna. Chicken Parmigiana or Eggplant Parmigiana. Beef Ravioli or Cheese Ravioli.
I say bollocks to that.
What I Did:
1 medium size zucchini
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
dash of water
flour (approx 1 cup)
Stove Top stuffing mix (approx 1 cup)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 cup of red cooking wine
3 cloves of garlic, smashed or chopped
1 TBSP each of: garlic salt, white pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, olive oil
2 servings of pasta of your choice (I like thin spaghetti, myself)
1 cup of cooking wine
0) Preheat oven to 375
1) Put about half an inch of frying oil in your favorite frying vessel and warm it over medium heat.
2) Mix the egg and water in a bowl to create the Egg Wash Step in your Breading Station.
2.5) Place the flour and Stove Top crumbs in separate containers (small plates are totally fine for this). This completes the Breading Station.
3) Bread the chicken:
- dip in the egg wash
- shake off excess
- dip in the flour
- shake off excess
- dip back in the egg
- dip in the Stove Top crumbs
4) At this point the oil should be hot enough to fry the chicken. Cook approx. five minutes per side.
5) While the chicken cooks, combine the tomato sauce, wine, garlic and spices in a baking dish large enough to hold all the chicken and zucchini.
6) Drain the fried chicken on a plate covered with a paper towel.
7) Quarter the zucchini and slice off enough of the outside so that they can sit basically flat. Repeat the breading and frying steps with the zucchini.
8) Drain the zucchini briefly on the paper towel plate. Add the chicken and zucchini to the baking dish and place the dish in the oven.
9) Set oven timer for 15 minutes.
10) During baking, start boiling the water (plus 1 cup of cooking wine) for the noodles. When the water is boiling, add the noodles (you know the drill).
11) After 15 minutes of baking, add shredded cheese of your choice to the tops of the chicken and zucchini. (I used Parmesan and American. You should use what you like. It's cheese; very hard to go wrong here.) Put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
12) Remove dish from oven, drain noodles (this timed out really well for me), put on plates and serve. Nom!
How Did it Go?
I'll repeat my 'Nom!' here. I learned from my previous mistakes and it all worked much better. Crispy outsides to the chicken and zucchini, tender juicy insides.
What Would I Do Differently?
Allegedly there's a method for breading things that keeps your hands from getting gloppy. I have soooooo not mastered this. I've heard the "One hand for the dry ingredients, one hand for the wet ingredients" Principle, but I always get stymied at the point where I'm moving the item to be breaded from a wet dish to a dry dish (or vice versa). One hand inevitably winds up both wet and dry and then i just give it all up for lost. So, that's a skill I'd like to look into before my next go at something like this.