Almost everyone loves great Italian cooking, but restaurants are just too expensive! Luckily, you can make cheap and easy Italian recipes like chicken parmesan in the comfort of your own home for a mere fraction of the cost at a restaurant. Here’s my favorite way to make this dish…
Head on out to your favorite discount grocery store or supermarket, and make sure it’s a place that has especially good deals on meat and poultry. Here are the ingredients you should pick up:
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – get 4 breasts weighing 6-8 ounces each. If your store has great prices, this should run you about 5 or 6 dollars.
Bread crumbs – pick up a small can for about 1 dollar.
Parmesan Cheese – Pick up a medium-sized shaker can for 2-3 dollars. Look out for deals on this product, too, as some stores will occasionally mark it way down to about a dollar per can.
Hopefully you’ve already got some flour, eggs, olive oil, and basic seasonings on hand. If not, spend a few more bucks to get these ingredients – they will last a lot longer than just this meal and will help you make more cheap and easy recipes!
Prepping the Chicken
Start by making the chicken breasts flatter in order to shorten the cooking time and get more tasty crust on each piece. You can pound them out with a mallet or rolling pin, but that can get messy. My favorite method is to simply butterfly the breasts by cutting them almost all the way through with a sharp knife and “opening” the flaps like butterfly wings.
Next, you’ll want to have three trays or pie pans ready. One will have lightly-salted flour, one will have beat-up eggs, and one will have a mixture of bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Lightly salt the chicken, coat it in the flour, cover it in egg, and finally coat it thoroughly with bread crumbs.
Once each chicken breast has been prepared, heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat and pour a generous layer of olive oil into the pan. Cook each breast on both sides until lightly golden brown. Cover them completely in parmesan cheese on a greased baking sheet, and then cook them in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is done. If you’ve got a thermometer, chicken is done when the inside reaches 165 degrees.
This is one of my favorite cheap and easy recipes, and it will taste great as is! However, you may want to serve the chicken over a simple dish of pasta and seasoned tomato sauce. You can also serve it alongside sautéed potatoes and wilted spinach or chard.