Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

I love chicken parmesan!  When we received meals after my 8 year old was born, we received a large pan of chicken parmesan!  It was so good!  I loved it.  My husband loved it.  My oldest loved it!.  After receiving that meal, I tried to find a good easy recipe for chicken parmesan.  I tried several and while they were usually tasty, they all seemed to take more time than I like to spend on meal preps.  There were just too many steps.  You know, prep the chicken, pan fry the chicken, bake the chicken, etc. Remember, I'm Queen of the Easy Meal so I like things that can come together without all those steps.  But I like food that tastes like you've spent a long time making it, so I kept searching and trying new recipes.

Last year I stumbled across this recipe for Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan on A Year of Slow Cooking.  She claimed it tasted just like the real thing without all the steps.  I wasn't so sure, but I gave it a shot on a busy day when I had all the ingredients for traditional chicken parmesan and a taste for traditional chicken parmesan, but not the time for making traditional chicken parmesan.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this dish to taste very similar to what I have made traditionally in the past.  The crunch on the chicken is not quite the same, but it still is very good.  To me, it tastes more like traditional chicken parmesan leftover the next day than when it first comes out of the oven.  The ease of the prep of this meal, however, trumps the texture issue at this busy stage of our life.  The fact that my husband and my kids make "mmmm" noises throughout dinner also make it a family favorite around our house.  Because you can use your favorite jarred sauce and even throw in frozen chicken that you find on sale, this meal is very economical. We like our served with pasta, a tossed salad, and garlic bread.

Here's the recipe:

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
1 Tbsp olive oil
4-6 chicken breasts
1/2 cup bread crumbs
14 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese (sliced or shredded)
jar of favorite marinara sauce ( I only used about 3/4 of a jar)
I found the chicken on sale for $1.77/lb, the cheese for $1.50, and the sauce for $0.75!

1.  Mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and spices in a shallow bowl.
2.  Whisk egg in a separate shallow bowl.
3.  Drizzle oil in the bottom of your crock pot; spread it around a bit.
4.  Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture and then roll in bread crumb mixture.

 5. Place chicken in crock pot.

6. Top with cheese; use a little or a lot; whatever you like.

7. Cover with sauce. (I only used 3/4 jar; I don't like mine swimming in sauce, just covered)

8.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours. (I used my programmable crock pot; it stays warm until we're ready to sit down and eat)
9.  Serve over your favorite cooked pasta; add a little extra parmesan for pizazz.
Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan
Tender, melt in your mouth chicken wrapped in rich, cheesy, tomato sauce
This is Italian Comfort Food at it's Finest. . . .And it's so easy!

What's your favorite recipe that you've learned to simplify from the original recipe?

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