• Karine Wlasichuk

Sunday Dinna': Chicken Parmigiana + Lumaconi

Updated: May 18, 2020

Disclaimer: nobody in this household is of Italian descent. However, if the American-Italian population taught me one thing, it is the importance of Sunday dinna'. To be fair my Ukrainian mother made sure that we did the same in our household every single Sunday of our childhood (it comes down to church service day and family values, really) but Italians came up with the intonation so I will hand it to them. Gracie.

Today I am showing you the easiest possible way to make chicken parmigiana because:

a) I am finding any excuse I can to use these new glass baking dishes I got (they are fantastic and cost me 20 dollars for 2 sizes on Amazon)

b) Just about anything with mozzarella is worth a try. What do you have that is so important to do that makes you that busy to try it? I follow the former Deputy Chief of Staff on Obama's team on Instagram and she made homemade bread this week. No excuse shall suffice. Now, onto Italian cuisine cooking!

You will need,

Eggs (2, beaten)

Garlic (5 crushed cloves)

Dried oregano (3 tbsp)

Onion powder (3 tbsp)

Bread crumbs (1 cup)

Flour (1/2 cup)

Cooking oil (1/4 inch of the skillet)

Olive oil (4 tbsp)

Fresh tomatoes (3-4 I wanted to use before they went bad, which I added to the crushed tomatoes in the marinara)

Crushed tomatoes (800 ml can)

Lumaconi for a side (or any pasta!)

Red pepper flakes (a pinch)

Mozzarella (1 cup, shredded)

Parmesan (1/4 and more for garnish, I personally ran out and compensated with mozzarella!)

Chicken thighs (typically, this recipe requires breasts but I had 6 thighs in the freezer and I happily used those instead)

A few simple steps,

1. To prepare the chicken, you need three mixing bowls: one bowl with the bread crumbs, onion powder, dried oregano and salt-pepper mixed with a fork; another with the whisked eggs mixture; and the third bowl with flour. The coating order is flour, egg mixture, bread crumbs. Do so for each piece of chicken and set aside.

2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, coat the bottom with cooking oil. When the pan is hot, add the chicken- I added all of them at once and flipped after 3-4 minutes. You want to cook until they are golden-brown and transfer them to a plate (paper towel highly recommended) to drain.

3. Whilst the chicken is cooking, start making the marinara. In a pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and throw in onion and garlic-cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and chopped fresh ones, along with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (I personally prefer chili oil!), and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in oregano (I have seen many recipes suggest parsley but to be honest I am parsley-ed out for now) and remove from heat.

4. Pour sauce into your *new and beautiful* baking dish with the chicken. Top with mozzarella and bake until cheese has melted, 10 to 12 minutes. I like to leave it a lot longer until it is crispy and brown but this is what the standard is.

5. During those 10-12 minutes, bring salt water to a boil and prepare the lumaconi (they typically take 10 minutes to be al dente).

6. Lastly, once everything was cooked and ready to serve, I took spoonfuls of the marinara from the baking dish and tossed them into the Lumaconi pot and mixed: you had your marinara pasta sauce all along! Serve and enjoy- especially the leftovers, such a nice surprise for the following day(s)!