Scrambling for something to make for dinner, I closed my eyes, thrust my hand into my freezer and pulled out … chicken. Okay …. now what should I do with this chicken? I had tomatoes …. chicken … tomatoes …. chicken …. tomatoes … chicken parmesan?

I settled on a baked chicken parmesan dish I was curious about and realized I was missing two very key ingredients: marinara sauce and croutons. I craftily rigged both ingredients and was well on my way to making a very interesting chicken parmesan dish.

The developer of the recipe notes that it is difficult to create a baked chicken parmesan dish that is as crispy as the fried versions. A baked crust can never withstand the moisture of the tomato sauce and inevitably becomes soggy. He solves this problem by creating a casserole-style dish and placing a layer of croutons on top. The bottoms of the croutons soak up the sauce to make it a cohesive dish, but the top stays nicely crisp and cheesy.

I baked this last night with boneless, skinless chicken thighs rather than chicken breasts and loved it. I have no idea what its health information is, but it feels pretty not bad since nothing is fried. It’s very hearty, so I served it alongside a green salad rather than pasta and felt full but not yucky afterwards. Martin liked it a lot too, but he might just be being nice. πŸ™‚ Don’t bite the hand that feeds you and all that jazz.

The recipe came originally from here, but it’s in video format. If you ever need a quick reference for it, I’ve gone ahead and transcribed the recipe here:

Baked Chicken Parmesan

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Hot red pepper flakes
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups marinara sauce
ΒΌ cup chopped basil
8 oz. mozzarella, separated
4 oz. Parmesan, separated

1- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

2- Coat bottom of an 8” x 8” square pan with olive oil. Sprinkle minced garlic and hot red pepper flakes to taste on top.

3- Layer washed and trimmed chicken thighs on the bottom of the pan.

4- Cover with marinara sauce until completely covered.

5- Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and Parmesan.

6- Sprinkle croutons on top.

7- Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is crispy and browned.

Servings: 3 – 4 people

Tasty delicious in the pyrex pan.