Food & Drink Magazine

How I Made the Chicken Parmesan for Freshly Blogged Week 7

By Crushland @crushland

Finally, a chance to post this week’s Freshly Blogged entry. Chicken Parmesan with thyme tomato sauce, leek pilaf and butternut crisps.

Please go and vote for me HERE just a few more weeks to go!

We are now in Week 8 (we were given our first challenges a week ahead), which means I’ve spent the passed eight Fridays eagerly watching my mailbox for the latest list of mystery ingredients, eight Saturdays wracking my brain for the most creative idea I could fathom with said ingredients, and eight Sundays spent in the kitchen, carefully preparing, measuring, testing and praying that the idea doesn’t end up a huge flop. Not forgetting the most important part: plating up and shooting the dish (which takes almost as much planning).

This is a labor of love really, I get to be creative, photograph my food, eat (somewhat) fancy food all in one. It has, however, has taken me away from family time and I decided to do something simple instead of elaborate, and comforting and delicious instead of different and elaborate. When I saw the ingredients I knew it had to be Chicken Parmesan. See the full recipe here, scroll down to find the download.

Ingredients list: Spekko parboiled long grain rice, 1 can chopped tomatoes, leeks, butternut, thyme, baguette. Rules: Add one more item (anything in store) and one item from the dairy section. See how it was a no-brainer? Oh wait.

I chose chicken fillets and Parmesan.
Wash and flatten out, you will be smashing then to be nice and even. If there are very thick parts, slice open with a knife and open it up.
You’ll see the extra bit of breast on the side, which i sliced off and had me four slivers of mini chicken fillets. 
Cover with plastic wrap and pound until even in thickness, for even frying. If you skip this part, the outer parts will cook quickly and be dry before the thicker center has time to cook.
Now put a third of your baguette in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Mine was fresh and still worked fine.
Wonderful Parmesan, be generous!
Five tablespoons of Parmesan, salt and pepper.
You’ll also need: 1) Flour mixed with some salt and pepper 2) Two eggs beaten with a splash of water
Coat in flour, egg then crumbs. 
I patted the crumbs firmly in place to prevent it falling off later.
That Parmi aroma when frying! Heavenly. Don’t fry too long, just about 2-3 mins on each side. It will continue baking in the oven.
The little nuggets.
For the leek pilaf, chop up leeks (and I would’ve added heaps of garlic too!).
A spoon of butter and three of olive oil.
Once the leeks have sizzled enough, add one cup of uncooked rice, and toasted it up. If you haven’t done this before, just trust me. You’ll love it.
Add 500mls of chicken or veggie stock (I used Ina Paarman’s). Let it simmer on medium heat until all the liquid has absorbed, but do not stir excessively! When I do that, it becomes mushy. 
If all the liquid has been absorbed and its still too undercooked, add another half a cup of stock or water and let it continue simmering. The end result is amazing! Buttery, fluffy rice with the flavor cooked all the way through. I am not a rice person, but I love it like this. 
For the thyme tomato sauce, fry the leeks and thyme (and garlic since you would be allowed endless ingredients).
Add the tomato, salt,  pepper and two teaspoons sugar, or more according to taste.
Cook it up until it’s thick like this.
Butternut crisps. A slicer/ mandolin highly recommended.
Spoon over your sauce.
Then Parmesan. (You should actually use tons of mozzarella, and then cover with Parm. Don’t be shy).
Pop into the oven on 200 deg for about 15 mins..

And enjoy!

Only takes about an hour, and the kids call it Pizza Chicken, so its definitely a winner in my book.


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