Monday, October 1, 2007
Cooking Lesson #1: Chicken Parmesan
So my relationship is new, brand spanking new. 5 weeks old and you can't tear us apart. I mean if you saw us, you'd gag, really honestly, I don't know why I don't. But until a week ago, the boy had no cookware. Look at me foodie extravaganza. Two polar opposites, but I bought him cookware and Sunday began the start of cooking lessons.
Now last week I asked him what he wanted to learn how to cook first. Chicken parmesan was his response. Well, can the boy choose well. Or I guess for me, not so well. It's something I've never made, practiced, and I usually don't eat it. But it is what he wanted to cook, and I said fine, let's do it.
So Sunday we go tothe grocery store, and I'm bombarded with questions. What is a good potato? What is good garlic? I need olive oil, salt, pepper, when we are only on aisle number 1. Now I am very OCD at the grocery store. A little chaotic yes, I have a tendency to forget things, but when I have a list, I'm very good about things. And I go in order. Nevertheless, I laughed off the questions and he looked at me like I was crazy, but we survived.
Four hours later, and after 100s of "I'm hungry," coming from my mouth did we finally start cooking. First came the tomato sauce, and all I could hear was the very sharp whacking of the knife, needless to say I taught him how to dice. Of course, I also, learned a lesson, don't leave the TV on, or it will suck out the concentration out of the room.
With the sauce simmering, he began on breading the chicken. I told him to read the recipe. "What does whisk mean?"
Startled from what I was doing, I looked over at him. He was genuinely asking me what whisking meant. Well, I'm not a chef, I don't know proper terminology. Then came, "What about the egg?"
"You've never cracked an egg?" squeaked out.
No was the reply. I cracked open the egg, shoved a fork in his hand, and said "Whisk."
"You mean break the yolk."
I nodded and went off to watch the sauce. An hour later, the chicken parmesan was on the table. And I couldn't have been prouder. The only thing burned was the garlic toast I made. His dish sat proud on each of our plates. And all I could do was smile.
He waited for me to cut into the chicken. It was perfectly moist and tender. A joy to bite into and a great dish. I couldn't stop smiling and can't wait to see what next Sunday's lesson might bring.
Chicken Parmesan (adapted from Everday Food)
2 chicken breasts
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs (fresh or premade)
2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
Preheat oven to 450. Whisk egg in one bowl. Mix parmesan and breadcrumbs together. Salt and pepper chicken. Dip chicken in egg then parmesan mixture. Place on baking sheet. Broil for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Spread one cup tomato sauce in glass baking pan, add chicken breasts, top with more tomato sauce and cheese. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
*Note: I add extra parmesan to top of chicken though recipe didn't call for it. After 15 minutes the chicken was moist and white.