My menu plan was out the window this week. Between travel over the weekend and the Labor Day holiday AND a raging cold, thinking about what to eat/cook this week was just beyond my capacity on Sunday or Monday.
So, I’ve been winging it. Which is a little stressful, a lot more expensive, but is also blossoming my creativity. What can I cook with what I have on hand and without a trip to the fast-food takeout joints?
I love Chicken Parm. It brings back memories from my (Italian) childhood. Lots of cheese, garlic, tomato sauce, and of course, chicken.
Today I tried a crock-pot recipe for Chicken Parmesan recipe. I checked out several “traditional” recipes and a few crock-style recipes and invented my own version.
One thing I did differently was that I did not bread my chicken. My grandmother may be watching from up above thinking this is a sacrilege but I was trying to eliminate the extra carbohydrates and I figured that was an easy way to do it. Besides, in the crock pot, the breading would’ve just turned to mush. And I don’t need bready mush – ever.
I also didn’t make my traditional tomato sauce that I use for spaghetti and most anything else Italian I make. (Grandma may decide to disown me now.)
I figured I was going to try the super-easy, super-simple method and see how it turned out. So, I just used an extra-large can of crushed tomatoes and seasoned them with some garlic, Italian seasoning and my Houston House Seasoning.
And, I used high-protein pasta. I like Barilla Plus. They have an angel hair pasta, so that made the decision easy for me. I like the fact that I’m feeding my family the extra protein and vitamins without the white flour and fillers in regular pasta.
Major yumminess. And major easiness, too. A win-win as far as I’m concerned.
The kids loved it, too.
I served it with garlic bread and SuperMan will probably get a salad with his (when he gets home from work, that is)
Here’s the recipe:
- Olive Oil
- 4-6 Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
- Houston House Seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic (I use diced garlic in the jar but you can press 2-3 cloves fresh garlic)
- 1 tsp sugar
- pinch of celery seed
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/2 pound of angel hair pasta
- Garlic Bread (you can’t eat this without it!)
- Season chicken breasts with Houston House Seasoning.
- In a large skillet, brown chicken breasts in olive oil.
- In a large bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, sugar, celery seed, about 2 Tbsp of Italian seasoning and 2 Tbsp of minced garlic.
- Add your chicken to the slow cooker.
- Pour tomato mixture on top.
- Set your slow cooker on low and let the chicken cook for 6-8 hrs.
- When you are ready to serve, boil your pasta water and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- While the pasta is cooking, place the chicken breasts in an oven safe dish and top with about 1/2 cup of the tomato mixture on each breast.
- Sprinkle some of the cheese on top of the chicken.
- Bake in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.
- Serve the chicken on a bed of pasta that has been topped with about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce that is left over in your slow cooker.
And, as my grandpa would say… mangi!