Showing posts with label Chicken Parmesan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicken Parmesan. Show all posts

Sunday, August 26, 2012

MLK Welcomes Hank Phillippi Ryan

 LUCY BURDETTE: We're so delighted to be hosting Hank Phillippi Ryan today. She is an investigative reporter with four--soon to be five--books under her belt. And she's won more book prizes and Emmies than you can imagine. And even with all that going on, and a book launching next week, she's here to talk food. With no further ado, I give you our dear friend Hank!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:  I used to cook. I did. My friends and family will attest to it--I cooked Beef Wellington and Potatoes Anna, and lemon soufflés and Julia Child's Vichyssoise and Boeuf Bourguignon. I offer my tattered and splatted cookbook pages as proof.

But these days…ever since my life was kidnapped by the mystery world--my cooking has sacrificed glamour for, well, speed and convenience. We eat a lot of grilled salmon from Whole Foods, photos of which I will spare you.

But there are some meals, we found, that are quick and delicious but feel--luxurious.

Two special favorites are Mark  Bittman’s Chicken Parmesan (a la River Street, our address) and cauliflower faux-tatoes . (Because they taste like mashed potatoes.)  Put these together with a green vegetable--and you’d think you'd created a gourmet masterpiece. And the whole thing takes about twenty minutes.

For the chicken. One or two boneless skinless half per person. (Jonathan and I each have one and a half.)

Preheat the oven to broil.

Preheat the other oven to 350. (If you don’t have two ovens, read through this, and you can work it out.)

But the breasts on a broiler pan--line the top with foil so it’s easier to wash, and easier to turn the chicken.

Liberally sprinkle the chicken with high-quality grated parmesan.

Put the chicken under the broiler for five minutes.

MEANWHILE: Put cauliflower florets (enough for however many people you’re serving) in a microwave dish with a touch of water, and zap for two and a half minutes of so, until just tender. 

Mash the cauliflower with a masher thing, then add ground black pepper, and low fat sour cream, and cream cheese, and grated cheddar cheese. However  much you want. You can’t go wrong, and mix til it’s chunky but voluptuous.

Ooops. Five minutes is up. Turn the chicken to the other side, coat the uncooked side with more parmesan, put under the broiler for five more minutes.

Meanwhile! in the glass bowl of cauliflower goop, cover the top with thin slices of cheddar cheese (optional—we didn’t do it in this version), and then a sprinkling of parmesan. (Avery, are you listening? This is a very “cheesy” dinner.)

Put this in the 350 oven. And cook til bubbly. It'll be at least 15 minutes.

Time to do the chicken again. Now, your chicken is broiled on two sides to for a total of ten minutes.  (I like chicken well done, so you might prefer four minutes a side.) Put ANOTHER  layer of parmesan on the chicken, then close the over door and turn the temperature to 350.

Cook for ten-15 more minutes. (It may get smoky, sorry, open a window.)

Your cauliflower is almost done! Turn that over to broil, and place the cauliflower dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is brown.

Your chicken is done! It will be glistening and crispy and smell fabulous, juicy on the inside, and crispy-cheesy on the outside.

Your cauliflower is done! It will be mashed-potatoe-y on the inside, and gorgeously cheesey on top.

Oh, we should have made peas.  Peas are great with this. Green beans, also wonderful.

Serve, and love. A crisp white wine, and you are set! I’m a red kind of girl, and what author could resist this label?

Agatha, Anthony and Macavity award-winning Hank Phillippi Ryan is the on-the-air investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate.

Her newest thriller, THE OTHER WOMAN, comes out in hardcover September 4 from Forge. A starred review from Library Journal says “a dizzying labyrinth of twists, turns, and surprises. Readers who crave mystery and political intrigue will be mesmerized by this first installment of her new series.”

You can read more at her website, or friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

And two more bits of breaking news--Hank's fabulous interview/book trailer can be seen here.

And she will be giving away a copy of THE OTHER WOMAN to one lucky commenter! thanks Hank! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Easy Chicken Parmesan Casserole from Cleo Coyle

I'm kickin' it old school today with a red-sauce favorite: Chicken Parm. This version is an easier (and healthier) one than your classic breaded and fried version. But first...

Crime-writing cook, Cleo Coyle,
is author of the bestselling

Coffeehouse Mysteries and
Haunted Bookshop Mysteries
Guess what the big culinary news was in New York last week? I'll give you a hint: Four Stars.

An Italian restaurant received four stars from The New York Times. Why big news? Because The Times hasn't given an Italian restaurant four stars since the 1970s.

"Great restaurants may start out that way," wrote the Times' chief restaurant critic (Sam Sifton). "But an extraordinary restaurant generally develops only over time, the product of prolonged artistic risk and managerial attention. An extraordinary restaurant uses the threat of failure first as a spur to improvement, then as a vision of unimaginable calamity. An extraordinary restaurant can transcend the identity of its owners or chef or concept..."

Yes, the man actually used the word "extraordinary" five times in the first two paragraphs. And the restaurant that earned this honor was...Del Posto.

Never been, you say? Well, how 'bout you and I go there right now for a *virtual* dinner? Just click the arrow in the window below. (FYI - I'm ordering the 100-layer lasagna; and, for dessert, the chocolate tree, of course...)

Now you may not have eaten at Del Posto, but odds are you've heard of two of it's three owners: Lidia Bastianich (of the PBS cooking show, Lidia's Italy) and Mario Batali, yes, Molto Mario of Food Network fame (who started out in NYC as the chef-owner of a little, bitty restaurant named Po in Greenwich Village, one that I was lucky enough to experience before Mario sold it and moved on to lusher culinary pastures).

The truth is I've never been to Del Posto, and after this review...well, as they say in Italian restaurants located in other parts of NYC: fugettaboutit! (At least right away.) Manhattan's obscenely rich and obnoxiously famous will now be lined up in an endless queue that won't have room for little old me. Do I care? Not in the least. And you shouldn't, either.

The next time you come to NYC, as a tourist or commuter, I have a different restaurant suggestion for you: Batali's less formal but still amazing Greenwich Village restaurant Otto.

No dress code at Otto's (that's Batali's philosophy, BTW, and I do love him for it). Orgasmic Italian food (salumi to die for, artisan pizza, and homemade gelato). Inventive decor. (It's designed to look like an Italian railway station.)

The prices are quite reasonable for a night out in New York,'s fun. Elegance and pomp are a trip, I grant you, but you just can't beat fun.

So you see, there are always alternatives. Like the recipe I have for you today...

Now Chicken Parmesan is the kind of red-sauce dish a typical New York restaurant snob would call an Italian cliché. But I'll tell you what: People LOVE their clichés, including New Yorkers: egg creams, black-and-whites, Nathan's hot dogs...just three of the dozens I could list for you. And despite all the shiny new, California-style burger joints and up-market shake shacks sprining up all over Manhattan Island, you'd have to nuke the place before most of the population would let you take away their "slices to go."

Of course, Chicken Parmesan is delicious made the old-style way: breading and frying the cutlets, covering them in cheese and sauce and baking. But today I'll give you an alternative to consider--a healthier one because there's no frying involved and instead of all that breading there's just a light layering of crushed garlic croutons.

Many of you may have seen some version of this casserole before (it's really nothing new) but for those who have not, I hope you'll enjoy the way I make it. The tricks to getting it absolutely right (in my opinion) are three:

(1) Use chicken tenders or slice your chicken breasts into strips so that the chicken will cook through (and become so tender as it poaches in the sauce that you can cut it with a spoon).

Start with Caesar salad style
garlic croutons and roughly crush them.
(2) Do not use breadcrumbs (too small). Instead, start with the kind of garlic croutons you would use in a Caesar salad then roughly crush them up (by putting them in a ziplock platic bag and lightly hammering them with a rolling pin or back of a large spoon).

(3) Pre-bake the chicken before adding the cheese. This gives the very best results--beautifully cooked chicken and cheese that's melted to perfection. Otherwise, you'll either have undercooked chicken or cheese that's freakin' burned.

And now...the actual recipe!

Cleo Coyle's 
Easy Chicken Parmesan 

To download this recipe in a free
PDF document that you can print, 
save, or share, click here.

For the free PDF
of this recipe, 
click here.

Cleo Coyle's Easy
Chicken Parmesan Casserole


5-ounce package of garlic croutons

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic (minced)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper (a light sprinking)

2 pounds chicken tenders (or breasts cut into strips)

5-6 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade)

2 cups of tomato sauce (jarred or your favorite recipe)

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Step 1 – Prep oven and croutons: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Place garlic croutons in a plastic bag and beat with a meat hammer or heavy object until they’ve been crushed into smaller pieces. Do not beat these babies into breadcrumbs. But do break down any large, chunky pieces into smaller bits. Set aside.

Step 2 – Toss chicken with oil and spices: In a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish, drizzle the olive oil. Add the chicken tenders, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper, and stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the oil and spices. Spread the fresh basil on top of the chicken.

Step 3 – Add sauce and pre-bake: Pour the tomato sauce on top of the chicken, distributing evenly. Slide into a pre-heated 350º F. oven for 30 minutes. Remove. Do not turn off oven!

Step 4 – Add layers of cheese, croutons & cheese: Spread half of the mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over the sauce. Next sprinkle all of the crushed croutons onto the sauce. Finish with a sprinkling of the remainder of the two cheeses.

After pre-baking, layer on half of the cheese...

Now add the crushed croutons....

Finally, add the rest of the cheese...

Step 5 – Final bake: Return the pan to your 350 degree F. oven for another 25 to 30 minutes. Casserole is done when all of the cheese is well melted. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares or spooning onto plates.

Re-heating: This dish makes amazingly tasty leftovers. For the very best result, before reheating, add a bit more sauce and cheese on top. Place in a small casserole dish, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and reheat in a 350º F. oven for 20 minutes. Or simply place in a microwave-safe dish and zap uncovered until warmed through.

Click here for the
free Recipe PDF, and...

Buon appetito,

Eat with joy! 

See more
of my
 recipes at...

Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.
Friend me on Facebook here. 

Follow me on Twitter here.
Sign up for my free
E-newsletter here.

~ Cleo Coyle, 

New York Times
bestselling author of

The Coffeehouse Mysteries

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each
of the 15 titles includes the added
bonus of recipes. 


To download mini summaries

of each of these 15 mysteries, click here.

* * * 

The bestselling hardcover
is now a bestseller in paperback!

Join amateur sleuth Clare Cosi as she
sets out to caffeinate our nation's capital
and solve a capital crime.

To learn more or buy...

It can get a girl killed...

This culinary mystery
includes more than 25
delicious new recipes!

Download the free
Recipe Guide by...

* * *

Is this billionaire
a victim? a lover?
or a master of murder?

Billionaire Blend 

*Starred Review  ~ Kirkus

Top Pick  ~ RT Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
 ~ Publishers Weekly

To order from Barnes & Noble click here.

To order from Amazon, click here.

Includes recipes for Billionaire Bars
Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge
Skillet Lasagna and many more tasty
foods and drinks mentioned in the story...

Click here for the book's
free Recipe Guide!

* * *

Will an innocent
sleeping beauty
sleep forever?

The "Best of the Year"
Reviewer's Pick is
Coming to paperback
September 2015!

To order from Amazon, click here.
To order from Barnes and Noble click here.

Fairy Tale Recipes

Click here for the book's
free Recipe Guide 

* * *

New York Times

Holiday Buzz 

Includes Recipes for
Holiday Cookies, 
Festive Foods and Drinks!

To order from Barnes & Noble click here.

To order from Amazon, click here.

Click Here to see the
Free Recipe Guide

* * *

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken Parmesan with a Twist

I used to cater (for a brief moment in my life).

It was a way for me to make a little cash during college. I also waited tables, managed a restaurant, and ran the kitchen at a camp. I learned how to make hordes of food for, well, hordes. When I got married, we liked to have a little holiday party. Soon the holiday party became 100 people. At my house. It wasn't a problem. I like a crowd. Expensive, but not a problem. Yes, I'm a little bit weird, I know. Please don't hold it against me. My sister gets nervous having a more than three people over. I get it.

 [My husband and I have since pared our party down to just family again. It's lovely, manageable. I'm growing increasingly sane.]

Anyway, when I catered, one of my specialties was making fried chicken. Oh, how I love fried chicken!!! But because I now have to eat gluten-free, fried chicken is out. No ifs, ands, or buts. No regular flour. So I've learned to be creative. Sure, I could dredge the chicken in rice flour and fry away, but I still want something crunchy. I came up with making my coating out of gluten-free rice cereal.

And then I decided to add cheese. [I know, I know. I'm a little cheese-happy this past year.] I thought if I added cheese to the
mix, it might make the fried crust chewy.

Well, it did!

Here's my experimental recipe.

By the way, it's not just for people who need to eat gluten-free. It's delicious, if I do say so myself.



4 breasts of chicken
½ cup rice cereal
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg whites

Mix rice cereal, spices and cheese. Spread evenly on 9x13 pan that has ben covered with foil.
Rub chicken breasts with egg whites. Press skin side down on the rice mixture.
Seal the foil and bake chicken in oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees F.
Remove from oven. Turn oven to broil. Open foil and turn the chicken, meat side up. Return to oven for 10 minutes on broil.
Serve warm.
* * *
If you would like a DOWNLOADABLE version of this recipe,
click this LINK.

Visit Avery at her website.