Continuing with the weeknight dinner thing, this is a quick meal that I swear by when I want to make something good, but really don't feel like cooking. I'm sure you have those nights too, so keep this one in your arsenal! Chicken parm is often served with spaghetti, so I love the idea of cutting out the extra steps and just preparing the whole meal together. This pasta is cheesy and crumbly, and highlights all of the flavors of chicken parm, all in one little dish. Best part- it takes about 30 minutes to make, and because you'll be poaching the chicken, requires very minimal hands-on time. I like to poach the chicken because it keeps the meat super tender... And requires little effort. To round out the meal, I like to serve this with a side of vegetables, like sautéed garlic green beans.
As a side note, I have actually always preferred eggplant parm to chicken parm, and I think this would be SO great as a vegetarian version. I'll try it with eggplant sometime and let you know how it goes. Or YOU can make it and let ME know how it goes... Morgan M., I'm lookin at you, girl.
Ingredients (makes approx. 3-4 servings):
• 8 oz pasta (penne is my preference, because you get a little burst of sauce with each bite. Bowtie is what I had on hand, and is a great substitute)
• 1 large chicken breast
• 1 garlic clove (gently smashed)
• 24 oz marina (my favorite to use is this spinach and parmesan flavor)
• 1/3 cup Italian panko breadcrumbs
• 1/4 tsp dried basil
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I like a mix of mozzarella and 6 blend Italian)
• Ground black pepper and cracked black pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to 375° and grease an 8"x10" dish.
• Rinse chicken breast under cold water and place in a small saucepan with your garlic and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add cool water to the pot, covering the chicken by about an inch. Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook chicken for about 10 minutes, or until opaque through the middle.
Note: chicken will need more or less time depending on thickness. Smaller cuts will need about 9 minutes, larger could go up to 14.
• While chicken cooks, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for ten minutes.
• Add panko breadcrumbs, basil, garlic powder, and oregano to a small bowl. Stir to combine. (Yes, I knowwww this is already Italian flavored, but adding more herbs and seasoning just kicks the flavor up a notch, and flavor is what we're all about here at Trilla's Table)
• Once chicken has cooked, remove from the water, let cool, and then cut into bite sized pieces. Season both sides with a pinch of black pepper.
• Building in layers, add half of the pasta to your baking dish, then half of the chicken, half of the marina, and a generous sprinkling of cheese. Give the dish a little shake to help the marinara reach all of the pasta, then repeat these steps with the remaining half. Top with the panko breadcrumb mixture.
Note: I like to taste the marinara first to see if it needs any more seasoning. Feel free to add more seasonings or herbs to your liking. I usually add cracked black pepper, garlic powder, and basil.
• Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Hi! I'm Shantal.