The Shameless Chef: Tasty Chicken Parmigiana You Wouldn't Want to Serve to a Real Chef
Notice anything missing? Think hard now.
Okay, so, for some reason you've decided you need to eat some chicken parmigiana, but you're too poor to go out to eat and too lazy / clumsy to batter, bread and fry a chicken breast or two. Good thing for you, lazy / clumsy is my forte. Today I'm going to show you how to make an easy, tasty chicken parmigiana-ish dish, with the added bonus that it winds up being one of the worst-looking dishes I've ever prepared. You'll wonder how I got it to that exact shade of reddish-pink. No fair skipping ahead; you'll see at the end.
You will need:
• Some delicately nuggeted chicken filets • Mozzarella and parmesan cheese • The noodle of your choice; I of course went with shells again, and •
Two cans of tomato paste Nope. Honestly, it'll be better if you make it with your favorite pre-packaged spaghetti sauce.
First, put your noodles on the boil. Follow the instructions on the back of the package, but generally I boil mine for about 10-11 minutes. If you like yours to be "al dente" then just run some hot water over 'em, you crazy bastard. Next, situate your nuggeted chicken filets at even intervals on a cookie sheet and stick them in the oven to bake. Most packages will tell you to bake them at either 400 or 450 degrees for anywhere between 7-10 minutes. Oh, you probably should have sprayed the cookie sheet with no-stick spray or something, you idiot. What were you thinking? I cooked my chicken nuggets on a teflon wok to avoid exactly that kind of screw-up.
Yup, the parmesan cheese was missing earlier. But yes, I did use some.
Next, mix up your tomato sauce and your cheese. As always, my preferred measurement of cheese is "a shitload," but you are free to add however much you think is appropriate.
Drain those noodles once they're done. When the chicken nuggets are ready, you can combine all three elements into a big wet pile.
Like this! Awesome. Just awesome.
Yes, okay, it looks a little disturbing. But doesn't most Italian food, really? It all comes soaked in various forms of delicious glop, so tone your aesthetic expectations down a bit and give a try. It's actually quite good. Let's face it, the battered, breaded chicken a real chef would use is just a glorified chicken nugget. All we've done here is taken out the pretension. You won't miss it.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.