One-Armed Cooking: Chicken Parmesan

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The idea behind this recipe is one I’ve shared over and over with people, and it wasn’t even my idea. I got it from my cousin- thanks Becky! We’re both busy mothers, and while we don’t get to see each other often, it’s inevitable that food and feeding a family would be discussed between us.

During one such conversation I’m sure I was recounting my disappointment that creating chicken Parmesan, one of my favorite meals, at home was both dangerous and messy. Splattered oil, burned pieces of chicken, and more effort than I was looking to put into a weeknight meal. She told me what she does and I think I just stood there with my mouth open, wondering why I hadn’t had such a brilliant idea. Here’s her trick: rather than breading and frying thin chicken breasts, she used pre-breaded frozen cutlets. Both a time-saver and a clean-up miracle, I knew immediately what my next meal was going to be.

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This recipe for chicken Parmesan is so easy, that it has become one of my regular emergency meals. I use Tyson panko-breaded chicken breast tenderloins from Costco (they are egg-free which worked well when we were dealing with egg allergies), homemade spaghetti sauce, and lots of cheese. It keeps me away from a hot stove and in the kitchen for a very short period of time.

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients:

5-6 frozen breaded chicken breast tenderloins (these are large ones, not the size of chicken fingers and are made from real, actual chicken)

1 quart spaghetti sauce (more if you need it)

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2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What’s Next:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Place a layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Place individual pieces of chicken on top of sauce. Cover with remaining sauce and spread evenly over all pieces of chicken.

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.

Serve with a side of pasta or salad.

Notes from my experience:

This is really the easiest and best way to make chicken Parmesan for a family. It’s safe with children around, requires almost no stove time and is filling.

This recipe series, One-Armed Cooking, highlights quick and easy recipes that can be made even if you are caring for children at the same time.

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