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Skillet Chicken Parmesan

Unexpected cooking projects are sometimes just as rewarding as a fully planned meal. I went over to Flautamom’s house in San Jose this morning. She had surgery on Friday and I thought a friendly visit was in order. She’s been bed-ridden since the operation, so we went out for a quick drive by to Starbucks for coffee. We were not there for long before she needed to get back home. On our drive back I asked if there was anything I could do for her while I was there. I didn’t need to get back to Berkeley until much later. I figured I could run errands for her. What she asked both surprised and delighted me.

Can you stay and cook?

It made perfect sense. The kitchen had been a bit neglected since her surgery, Cin and Claudia (the 4 year old) had been doing fine but the husband had been subsisting on cereal for the last few days. Flautamom had already bought all the ingredients for a new recipe she had been wanting to try: Skillet Chicken Parmesan, from Cook’s Illustrated. There was enough chicken to make dinner for the family and still have extra servings to roll over for tomorrow’s dinner.

We arrived back at her house. She went off to the bedroom, Cin was in the living-room with the kid, and I barricaded myself in the kitchen. Hm. It was certainly an adventure. I had cooked in this kitchen plenty of times, but always with Flautamom by my side to tell me where I could find pans, spices, utensils, etc. This time I was flying solo. I also found it amusing to cook a meal someone else had planned.


1 1/2 C fresh bread crumbs

3 tbs olive oil

1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan

1/4 C chopped fresh basil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes

salt and pepper

1/2 C all-purpose flour

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved horizontally

3 tbs vegetable oil

3/4 C shredded Mozzarella

3/4 C shredded Provolone

1. Toast bread crumbs in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 C Parmesan, and half of the basil. In separate bowl, combine remaining basil, garlic, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Place flour in dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add 4 cutlets and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining vegetable oil and cutlets.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomato mixture to empty skillet. Don’t toss entire contents of spice jar into tomato mixture. I had decided to deviate a little from the recipe at this point and season the sauce with some Oregano. Hm. Spice jar fail.

4. Return cutlets to pan in even layer, pressing down to cover with sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella, provolone, and remaining Parmesan over chicken. Cover with lid and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with bread-crumb mixture. Serve.

Don’t forget dessert!!!

I think my food karma for the week is complete!!

Have you ever been asked to cook an unplanned meal??


anyone on instagr.am?? It’s my newest obsession!! Let me know, I’ll follow you 😉 I’m listed as: beamorsel