Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan


The crock that started it all. That should be the sign I put up in my imaginary museum of my life, hanging right in front of my first Crock Pot. If not for experimenting in that 4 quart slow cooker of wonder, I am unsure where the confidence to continue on my cooking expedition would have come from. Way back before the days of actually picking up a few tips about photographing food, I documented my first several meals with an old cell phone.



Crock Pot Chicken Parm is a recipe my sister made roughly 4 years ago. I loved it, I knew I needed to have it again, but set the recipe in with my pile and didn't pick it back up. When it comes to slow cooker dishes, I can admittedly be lazy. My favorite meals have been those where you toss in raw ingredients and like stepping through a time warp, 6-8 hours later you have a completely ready meal. I avoided making most things that required pre-cooking as it seemed like too much work. There have of course been some exceptions, such as with crock pot lasagna and chili, but breaded chicken? Was it really worth the effort? This recipe had stuck out in my mind, so I knew I had to give it a shot.

Most of my dinner recipes revolve around a solo person, so I didn't need to make a huge batch. I decided to use one chicken breast, though it was a large one (unnaturally huge, as a matter of fact, which I often try to avoid), so I cut it into quadrants. I dipped each piece into egg wash, then into breadcrumbs, and proceeded to fry them until they were a golden brown. In the case of smaller chicken breasts, I'd suggest 2-3.


The chicken then went right into the bottom of the crock. Fried chicken. I was hungry already.


On top of that went some mushrooms, chopped onion, a jar of pasta sauce, crushed red pepper, and a bunch of fresh parsley and oregano. My garden has been doing me some good this year, and I have a plethora of herbs out there just dying to be utilized. Everything fresh!


I put the heat on low and let it go for 6 hours. The marinara nut in me was dying every time I caught a whiff of that thing cooking.


Once it was ready, boiled some spaghetti and served it right over the top with some melted cheese. THAT. EASY.


Aaaand a gem was found. I'm not gonna lie, I think my sister had some advantage I am unaware of because I preferred hers. Or hell, maybe it's the memory. Either way, don't take that as a knock to this glorious meal. I tore up a plate of this in no time, and had to hold myself back to avoid that "so full on pasta you feel like a balloon overstuffed with a teddy bear" sensation. This chicken parm lasted me several days (yay! Food for work!) and frankly, tasted even better the next day.

For the record, the extra effort was definitely worth it. Slow cooked meats just fall apart, and that's one of the best things about this dish. You still get the breaded chicken, which holds together quite well, but you get the benefit of a dish so well done it just melts. *This* is why everyone should use a crock pot. You could throw nearly anything in there and have it come out tasting like gold.

I want to circle back around and talk about the jar o' sauce for a moment. I get it, jarred sauce is not the number one choice. I know, SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR! But it's ok. Cooking with a jar of pasta sauce every now and a gain is fine. I decided to use something quick that I had on hand, however I would like to suggest for others that you can add fresh tomatoes and other vegetables to add more flavor and another very easy option is to use a carton of tomato puree. If you are already adding herbs, that will be enough flavor. The slow cooking will cook down the tomatoes and make them a well blended part of the sauce. That's what I did on my second go around (I had gloated about how good this came out and then turned around and ate the whole damn thing, so sharing meant a redo was in store). Portobellini mushrooms and fresh tomatoes went on top along of some chicken cut into smaller bits with tomato puree and herbs. The choice is yours on the jar dilemma; crock pots allow you to get that melding of flavors you would normally get simmering pasta sauce on the stove top, so have some fun and make the sauce your own.


Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts, thawed
1 egg
Approximately 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 jar pasta sauce (24 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Cooked pasta


Instructions:

Cut chicken breasts in half. In a medium bowl, beat egg. Spinkle bread crumbs on a plate. Dip chicken into egg wash, then into bread crumbs. Flip to coat evenly. Pan fry in butter over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until breading is golden brown. Lay chicken in the bottom of a crock pot coated with cooking spray or a thin layer of olive or avocado oil. Add mushrooms and onion, then pour sauce over the top. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or low heat for 6-8. Serve with pasta.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover