Chicken Parm Night

When I’m on the road during the season, I have a lot of time on my hands. One way I like to pass it is by sharpening my cooking skills. I think my husband appreciates this since the only things I could make pre-marriage were toast and pasta. I’ve made many new dishes this past season, two of which including my favorites New England Clam Chowder and a Chipotle Mexican Salad Bowl.

Yesterday my mom and I made Chicken Parmesan for the entire family using my mommom’s spaghetti sauce recipe. I love using family recipes before skimming through Pinterest because it gives me a feeling of home when I’m away and also because it allows family traditions to be carried down to future generations.

Chicken Parmesan is Matt’s favorite dish, and my mom makes it for him every off-season. Since we are heading to Arizona for spring training in less than two weeks, my mom decided to spoil him a little and host a family dinner before we ship out.

Below is my mommom’s recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce. It tastes oh-so-delicious!

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Mommom’s Spaghetti Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil                                           6 cloves garlic

1 large can Italian style tomatoes              1 large minced onion

Thyme                                                          Italian Seasoning

2 small cans tomato paste                          Marsala wine (optional)

Salt (to taste)                                              Red pepper (1 pinch)

Cloves (3 sprinkles)                                    1 TBSPN Parsley

1 TBSPN Basil

 

  1. Add oil and Italian style tomatoes, break up
  2. While coming to a boil, add salt and seasonings
  3. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, minced onion and garlic over top
  4. Add tomato paste and water (2 cups water per 2 can tomato paste, or if adding wine 1/2 cup wine 1/2 cup water)
  5. Bring to a boil, then turn down
  6. Tilt lid if too tin, cook for at least 3 hours

 

While we let the sauce simmer, it was time to start pounding the chicken. It took us over three hours to clean, thinly slice and pound enough chicken for 20 people.

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After we pounded all the chicken, next came the flour, egg and breadcrumb assembly line. Dipping the chicken in the flour, I recently discovered, is purely preference. Some people do it, and some prefer not to. Some people think dipping the chicken in the flour before the egg makes the breadcrumbs stick better and gives it a fluffier fry. My mother has always done this, so I have always done the same. My mom also likes to doctor up her breadcrumbs. She uses either plain or Italian breadcrumbs, sometimes both, and adds garlic salt, dried parsley, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and pepper.

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Then you get this…

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Once all the chicken is breaded, then it’s time to fry it up!

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Next comes the easy part. All we did after this was place the chicken on baking dishes at 400 degrees in the oven and let them cook through. After 15 minutes, we covered them with both mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and spaghetti sauce and let them cook for another 10 minutes. And the final outcome…

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Perfect Chicken Parm! I must say, I really enjoyed standing beside my mom as she taught and demonstrated the love that goes into creating such a tasteful dish for her family. Creating moments together in the kitchen are memories I will always look back on and cherish, hopefully one day passing them down to children of my own. Also, what’s just as rewarded is watching your family enjoy the dish you slaved a whole afternoon away preparing, which is why I’ve included some pictures.

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Dessert was special too, as Matt and I sliced into the top layer of our wedding cake. We were a little late on the Anniversary tradition, but it still tasted just as yummy!

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