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Healthy Chicken Parm with Broccoli Rabe

June 20, 2011

One day last week as I was walking home from the gym, as is not that uncommon in South Philly, I got a whiff of some delicious garlicky Italian food. I suddenly found myself craving something saucey and cheesey, and knew I had to act on it! So this weekend I set out to make some Chicken Parmesan, using my mom’s tomato sauce of course, and also making a more health-conscious version. A lot of the time, while its very delicious, chicken parm is fried and smothered in cheese. But my baked version actually came out awesome and much less soggy due to not cooking it in oil or baking it with the sauce on top.

I decided I had to try to pretty my meal up, so instead of pasta I made polenta cakes so that I could try my best to create a picturesque chicken parm stack. As for the necessary veg, broccoli rabe was an easy choice! I know Scott’s a big fan and because I’d never made it before it was as good a day as any to give it a whirl! I’d say this was a complete success, and Scott was really happy to come home after his weekend motorcycle/camping trip to this home-cooked comfort food! Now I’m really looking forward to the leftovers I brought in for lunch- but in sandwich form!

First off, make the sauce! The longer this stuff simmers, the better.

Make the Polenta

  • 1 Cup Instant Polenta
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 1 TBSP Butter or Margarine

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the polenta and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter or margarine. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and spread evenly. Let cook completely. Once cool, carefully flip the whole piece of polenta onto a cutting board, and using a drinking glass, cut out circles. Discard (or snack on) excess pieces. Refrigerate until ready to plate your meal.

Broccoli Rabe

  • 1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe (about 1.5 lbs), trimmed and halved
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch broccoli for 2-3 minutes and quickly transfer to an ice-water bath. Using your hands, remove the broccoli from the bath and squeeze out excess water. Heat oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add broccoli rabe and salt and saute for 2 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Chicken Parmesan

  • 1 Pack of thin-sliced boneless Chicken Breasts (about 5 pieces)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus more to top
  • 1 Ball of Fresh Mozzarella, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Set up your breading station: Flour on a plate, followed by a bowl of the beaten eggs, and lastly your breadcrumbs mixed with the Parmesan. One by one, dredge your chicken cutlets in the flour and gently shake off excess. Then give them a dip in the egg making sure to fully coat each piece. Finally, cover your chicken in breadcrumb/cheese mixture and set it onto a large Pyrex baking dish. Once all your chicken is ready to bake, pop the dish in the oven and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Top each piece with sliced mozzarella cheese and a light sprinkle of shredded Parmesan. Put the dish back into the oven and bake another 10 minutes.

While your chicken is baking during the final 10 minutes, Heat 2 TBSP of olive oil in a large skillet and add your polenta cakes. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. When you’re ready to assemble your stacks, ladle a good amount of sauce onto each plate, top with polenta and finally your chicken cutlet and more sauce if desired. I sliced each cutlet into 3 strips and stacked them on top of each other. Serve your broccoli rabe on the side.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2011 12:41 pm

    I’ve just discovered your blog and it’s so sweet! This looks simple yet delicious – who doesn’t love polenta??

  2. June 26, 2011 12:16 am

    Healthier chicken parm sounds so good- I will have to give it a try!

  3. June 30, 2011 1:20 pm

    Chicken Parm is one of my FAV foods! And I’m simply drooling over the broccoli rabe .. not a lot of people cook with it, and it’s one of my favorite vegtables! You’ve nailed two of my favorite foods in one recipe … I think I’m in love 😉 This recipe looks AHH-MAZING! (and your photos are stunning!) Thanks for sharing!!

  4. July 2, 2011 7:56 pm

    Looks delicious. Thanks for posting!

  5. lola permalink
    April 5, 2012 10:06 pm

    i made this dish tonight. really good. thanks.

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