Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken parmesan dream

Last week, we made something pretty amazing - and I say "we" because hubby played a major role.

First things first, though: the olive oil.
I heard recently (over twitter) that a new store had opened downtown called "Olive Grand". It's an olive oil store, so naturally I stopped in. What a sweet place! It's the first business venture for this couple, and they have a whole store filled with different styles and flavors of wonderful olive oil, as well as many types of flavored balsamic vinegars. I was in heaven. The folks were very nice and I got to taste a variety of wonderful, rich flavors. I couldn't decide what to buy, so I rashly decided on the lemon olive oil. I got a small bottle - filled directly from a large steel vat - for $13.50. Ouch. But what a delicious novelty!

So, here's the question: What do you use lemon olive oil for? We tried it with some balsamic and dipped olive bread in it. Delicious!

Then, a few days later hubby had the dinner idea of chicken parmesan (something we never make). In the morning, I decided the chicken breasts needed a marinade, so I poured some lemon olive oil in a bag with them (not too much!), added a few cloves of chopped garlic and some salt and pepper and let them sit all day.

To cook the chicken, hubby followed my suggestions: He started by broiling the breasts on each side for about 5 minutes each in a glass casserole. Then he dumped some canned (organic at least!) marinara sauce over them and baked at 350 for 15 or 20 minutes. Then he added a whole bunch of freshly grated/shredded parmesan cheese and let that get nice and melty.

This is when I got home from a late meeting and rejoiced.

I quickly cooked up some egg noodles to put the chicken and sauce over. When I cut into the chicken, the aroma of lemon and garlic oozed out. Surprise! The subtle flavor of lemon permeated the chicken, and mixed well with the marinara and cheese. The noodles provided a good secondary sauce-delivery-mechanism. Oh yeah, we had some salad too. It was all divine.

This was more than a week ago and I can still taste it. I highly recommend all of the above!

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