Passing the torch in the kitchen
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS ABOVE: Still hot and bubbling right from the oven, Chicken Parmigiana is an easy weeknight dinner that's also perfect for company. BELOW: Our grandson Kyle is the latest family chef in a long line of cooks.
All of the men in my family are wonderful cooks.
My dad was a professional chef, my husband learned at his mother's knee and my son began making traditional family dishes when he was only 10 years old.
It's no surprise then that with our grandson Kyle visiting us for a few weeks, he would want to learn how to cook.
Kyle is 23, so it was a lot easier than the time I tried to teach my two younger grandchildren how to make chocolate chip cookies. They were 6 and 3 at the time, and there was some fighting over the beaters, lots of flour on the floor and more than a few tears.
That was not the case with Kyle last week when we made Chicken Parmigiana. In fact, it went deliciously smoothly.
I gave him the directions, and although I stayed in the kitchen with him, he did all of the work. I gave him a few tips, such as not overcrowding the chicken when frying it and to make sure he always uses freshly grated Parmigiano cheese.
As far as I'm concerned, if the only thing Kyle takes away from our time together in the kitchen is to always use freshly grated Parmigiano cheese and never anything that comes in a shaker, I'll feel like I've done my job.
But given the talent displayed by all of his predecessors, I think he's going to be a terrific catch for some lucky gal.
2 tablespoons water
1 and one-half cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
Half teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
Quarter teaspoon black pepper
1 and one-half pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into half-inch wide pieces
2 and one-half cups spaghetti sauce
1 16-ounce block of mozzarella cheese, shredded
Oil for frying
In a shallow bowl (I use a pie plate) beat the two eggs and the water. In another shallow bowl, add bread crumbs, a half cup of the Parmigiano cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Heat enough oil in the bottom of a large frying pan. Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture on both sides, then do the same with the bread crumb mixture, then fry in the frying pan about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Don't overcrowd the chicken while frying. You can cook it in several batches if needed. Remove the chicken and let it drain on paper towels until all of the chicken has cooked.
With cooking spray, lightly spray the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Arrange the chicken pieces in the bottom of the dish. Cover with spaghetti sauce, then sprinkle with grated cheese and then the mozzarella cheese.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.