Have I told you lately how much I LOVE my cast iron skillet? Yes, it’s true. A few years ago I traded in my non-stick cookware for all stainless steel and cast iron. It did take me a while to get used to not burning stuff to the bottom of them like EVERYTIME but after adjusting my heat (much lower!) I realized I didn’t need those chemical laden pots and pans after all! 🙂
Today I’m sharing this chicken parmesan recipe that goes to a whole new level by adding a super yummy Alfredo sauce to the pasta and lots of mozzarella cheese before baking it in the oven to get that nice, crusty mozzarella we all love. The best part is I used my wonderful cast iron skillet to get a nice, crispy piece of chicken without a deep fryer or any unhealthy oils. If you don’t own a cast iron skillet no worries, you can do this in just about any sauté pan, however I do love the results I get from my cast iron. Just take a look and you’ll understand! Now that’s a piece of chicken to be proud of!
Another thing I love about his recipe is the versatility. If you are short on time and don’t feel like taking the extra steps to make the Alfredo sauce you can absolutely toss your pasta in extra red sauce and call it a day. Sometimes I go the red sauce route, sometimes I go the Alfredo route. Sometimes I even toss my pasta in extra red sauce AND ricotta cheese and that is delicious too. Either way you will end up with a dinner your family will love!
Whenever I use a convenience product like the panko bread crumbs I used in this recipe I always caution folks to READ INGREDIENTS! These are the products most notorious for adding a bunch of crappy ingredients that don’t need to be there just for the sake of keeping the product on a shelf for years without it going bad. I get so frustrated with brands like Progresso who willingly put profit and production above ethics. When it comes down to it, there should be no reason any breadcrumb product contains ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. When I started reading labels one of the first products I immediately threw away were the breadcrumbs that had been lingering in the back of my pantry forever. That alone should have indicated to me that something just wasn’t right with the product to begin with. Since that time I’ve experimented with making my own breadcrumbs (which works wonderful too!) but this time I opted for an organic panko product I’ve found in most mainstream grocery stores (check their organic section).
Here’s the product I used as well as my favorite cast iron skillet! 🙂
*This is a bulk listing.
Chicken Parmesan Alfredo
By April 22, 2015Published:
- Yield: 4-5 Servings
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 45 mins
- Ready In: 55 mins
Have I told you lately how much I LOVE my cast iron skillet? Yes, it's true. A few years ago I traded in my non-stick cookware for …
- 8-10 ounces whole wheat penne pasta cooked according to package directions
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup organic panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese Look for a brand without preservatives or anti-caking agents!
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp whole wheat white flour or unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 and 1/2 cups milk I used whole milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups red sauce of choice
- 1 and 1/2 cups mozzerella cheese use more if desired!
- fresh basil leaves to top, if desired
- Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
- To prepare chicken: Mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and all spices including salt and pepper. Preheat cast iron skillet over medium-low heat with 3 Tablespoons olive oil (I preheated my skillet as I was working on my chicken). Dip chicken in breadcrumbs to coat. Cook in skillet 4-5 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.
*I always thin my chicken with a meat tenderizer before breading and cooking. This will allow chicken to cook more evenly and crispy. I highly recommend trying this!
- For the Sauce: In the same skillet (even if there are crispy breadcrumbs on the bottom, this will give your sauce more flavor!) melt 3 Tablespoons butter. Add 3 cloves garlic and allow garlic to cook. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons flour to create a paste, then slowly whisk in milk little by little allowing sauce to thicken each time before adding more milk. Finally add parmesan cheese to finish. Add additional salt/pepper to taste.
- To Finish: Toss cooked pasta in Alfredo sauce. Place reserved chicken on top of pasta. Top chicken with red sauce of choice and mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil if desired.