Today we are reprinting one of our favorite recipes -- Chicken Fingers Parmesan. If you have a favorite "Desperation Dinners" recipe, please e-mail it to tellus@KitchenScoop.com.
Contact Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross at Desperation Dinners, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016
Chicken Fingers Parmesan
Start to finish: 20 minutes
8 ounces thin spaghetti (spaghettini)
1 pound to 1 1/4 pounds skinless chicken tenders, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup plain, fine, dry breadcrumbs
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups smooth-style spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup already shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Bring 2 1/2 quarts of unsalted water to a boil in a covered 4- 1/2-quart or larger Dutch oven or soup pot. When water reaches a rapid boil, add the pasta and cook nine minutes.
Meanwhile, if the chicken is frozen, run it under hot water so you can remove any packaging. Place the chicken on a microwave-safe plate and microwave three minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting. Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and basil in a large zipper-top plastic bag. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in an extra-deep, 12-inch nonstick skillet that has a lid. Place the chicken in the bag with the breadcrumbs, seal, and shake the bag to coat the chicken well (press the chicken pieces into the crumb mixture if necessary to get it to stick), then place the chicken pieces into the hot oil. Raise heat to medium-high and cook until the chicken is cooked through, four to five minutes, turning to lightly brown on all sides.
Remove any chicken strips from the skillet that you want to keep plain before adding sauce. Add sauce to the skillet directly over the chicken strips. Reduce heat to low and sprinkle mozzarella evenly over contents of skillet. Cover and continue to simmer until the cheese melts, one to two minutes.
Drain the spaghetti and place some on each serving plate. Top with the chicken and sauce and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Approximate values per serving: 528 calories (23 percent from fat), 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 76 mg cholesterol, 39 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 876 mg sodium
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