Cooking Up A Storm.
We’re trying to make cooking at home a more regular routine around here, so Erik and I broke out Jamie’s Food Revolution for another exciting night in the kitchen! I was a bit more ambivalent as to what we should cook, so I let Erik decide on our main entree. The winner: Parmesan Chicken Breasts with Crispy Posh Ham (found on page 242). Sounds fancy, no? But so uncomplicated!
- Just watch:
The instructions say to grate your Parmesan, but we just bought pre-grated cheese. It also includes 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, but then you pick off the leaves from the stalk. I put mine in a tiny coffee cup to keep them from getting lost. While I was attending to the thyme, Erik took control of the chicken. He carefully scored (cut) the underside of the chicken breast in a criss-cross fashioned.
That means he cut into them, but not all the way (chicken breast stays breast-sized). Then he seasoned with a bit of pepper and sprinkled the thyme over the chicken – but leave a little thyme left! We didn’t do that and ended up putting more thyme on the chicken later leaving us with a very thyme-y chicken.
Erik grated a bit of lemon over the chicken as well, and then sprinkled the chickens with 1 1/4 ounces of Parmesan.
He laid down 3 slices of prosciutto on each chicken breast and then drizzled a little olive oil and sprinkled the rest of the thyme leaves.
After this, he wrapped the top layer with plastic wrap and used the bottom of the frying pan to squish the chicken breast. The way to get the chicken to cook faster is to have it thin, like 1/2 an inch. My father used to do this with an actual pounding contraption (I’m sure these things have names, but I don’t know what it is) and it would make a very loud banging sound. Being in an apartment building, I didn’t feel like having that go on, so Erik just pushed the pan down. Having said that, I recommend pounding because the chicken breast really didn’t get as squished as it needed to be and Erik’s chicken ended up being slightly undercooked, which required a bit of nuking.
Cooking the chicken was a two-step process: One chicken, and then the other, because our pan was not that big. We literally just drizzled some olive oil on the pan and cooked the chicken for 3 minutes on each side, turning halfway, and gave the ham side a tad bit longer to crisp (Jamie says 30 seconds). You start with the ham side, though, and then turn to the the non-ham side.
We added some mashed potatoes (the boxed flavor!) and some baby spinach salad with a Raspberry Vinaigrette on the side.
We thought this was an easy and simple way to spice up an ordinary chicken breast. There were only six ingredients total, and three of them are things you might already have in your cupboard or fridge (thyme, pepper and Parmesan cheese). My only thought is that we could have used more Parmesan than they recommended, or used the kind of grated cheese that leaves it in tiny slices, instead of the normal powdered variety. It just wasn’t as cheesy as I felt it should be, but it was still delicious. And the great part is: no carbs!