Perhaps, like myself, you are a fan of this particular dish, and not a fan of the high fat and general bad-for-you nature of it all. Some will argue that it just isn't the same prepared in the following manner, but quite frankly, I can't stomach the amount of grease that bread crumbs
can soak up. So, here are a few tips if you'd still like to enjoy this dish without all of the fatty trappings
- Milk is most definitely a good way to prepare chicken for breading, but some people can't have milk, and others simply might not want to use it. If you let the chicken breasts unthaw and wet them down with water, provided your bread crumb mixture is fine enough, it will stick just as well to the chicken. I generally like to toss in some italian seasoning with the crumbs (other times I embrace laziness to its fullest and simply use shake and bake original, extra crispy). Generally while I am frying the breasts up I sprinkle a little extra of the crumbs on any patches where they did not stick well in the first place.
- Instead of soaking your chicken in oil, use a good non-stick frying pan. Consider that you are not using oil (as much as I adore olive oil, and I really do), so the bread crumbs *will* burn if you do not flip the meat frequently. Most likely, you will burn some of the crumbs regardless (it gets tedious flipping them so frequently), but it is worth the hassle of wiping a few little burnt crisps off to avoid the mass amount of oil (at least, it is for me).
Those are the two major points that seem to cut back a lot on the jabbing pains in my gall bladder that occur if I do use the oil. I also tend to try and use part-skim
mozzerella, as large amounts of greasy cheese promote aforementioned stabby pains (this is the technical term), as well.
Another thing I've noticed is that people think this is a time consuming dinner. It really is relatively easy, even if you are making it for a large group of people, and it is not all that time consuming
either. I tend to bake it for closer to 30/40 minutes, but I am generally dealing with enough food for 6-7 people.
If you are looking for a neat little side dish (aside from the standard pasta that is served with the chicken), boil your pasta (penne works best, in my opinion) until it is nearly as firm as you'd like it, but not quite, leaving a little room for it to finish cooking in the oven. Throw it in the baking tray alongside your chicken (make sure you mix it into the sauce a little so it is all covered, you don't want it to dry out). Sprinkle a little cheese over the pasta, then cover the entire dish with tin foil
, and bake it all together for about 30-40 minutes at 350F.
Sorry that was quite rambling, I just thought I would toss out a few things I like to do with it.
It should be noted that green bell peppers are always a great addition to the sauce, as well.