Monday, March 7, 2016

Speedbo Recipe Re-run: Baked Parmesan Chicken

This is an anniversary of sorts. Three years ago this month I received a fabulous present from my UPS man - the author copies of my first book. I can't describe the feeling of opening a box of books (Oh, don't you love that fragrant aroma of ink and paper!) and finding your name on the cover of every. single. copy.

March is also Speedbo time - a time when a lot of writers attempt to write a novel in a month. Very similar to NaNoWriMo...but in the spring. And you set your own goals. You can read about (and even join!) this year's Speedbo here.

When you get that many writers working as hard as they can to produce the best book that they can...well...sometimes their families suffer. Laundry languishes in the hampers. Library books are always overdue. And meals? Forget it!

That is, unless you pre-plan a few scrumptious, quick dinners that your family will love. :)

In honor of Speedbo 2016, I'm sharing this post from Speedbo 2013. And yes, this dish is on our family menu this week!

 Quick Prep and Good Eating: Baked Parmesan Chicken

Jan here, with a quick, easy meal that most families love....
(forgive the skimpy helping of broccoli on this plate - I was at the end of the line!)

Baked Chicken Parmesan is perfect for Speedbo. It takes about 10 minutes to put it together, stick it in the oven for an hour (rack up some more words for your daily word count), and then spend about 15 minutes at the end of the hour fixing the side dishes and setting the table.

Perfect, right?

So here's the recipe:

Baked Parmesan Chicken


1 chicken breast for each member of your family

1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or bread crumbs with basil, oregano, garlic and parsley mixed in)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the powdery kind for this dish - not the more expensive fresh)

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Step one: melt the butter - Preheat your oven to 350°. Put the butter and olive oil in a 9x13" baking dish, and put it in the oven to let the butter melt while the oven is heating up.

Step two: prepare the chicken - I buy boneless chicken breasts that are HUGE. Too big for one person. So I cut them in half top to bottom, making two nice sized chicken breasts half as thick as the original.

Step three: prepare the crumb mixture - Measure the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic onto a plate and mix with a fork.

Check the oven - is your butter melted?

Step four: with tongs or a fork, coat the chicken on both sides with the butter/olive oil, then dredge in crumbs/cheese mixture, then place in the baking dish.

Step five: bake - cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more.

And you're done!

If you want to make the prep even quicker, coat the chicken in the butter/olive oil, and then sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the chicken.

This same recipe is also great for chicken nuggets. Just cut the chicken breasts into chunks, put the crumbs in a bag, put your chicken chunks in and shake. Arrange evenly in a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with pasta tossed with butter and Parmesan cheese, your favorite vegetable and a salad.

And for dessert? Ice cream, of course, from your favorite local ice cream parlor. Our fav,Armadillos, just opened for the season last week! The sherbet flavor of the day is Lemon today, but I always get chocolate ice cream in a waffle can you go wrong with chocolate?


  1. I am so happy when ice cream and custard shops start opening! Oh, happy day!!!!! :)

    And that reminds me that I haven't been to Abbott's since their opening day SIX DAYS AGO! Must go visit them soon!!!!

    Jan, I've done this simple and delicious recipe, and it's marvelous. And I'm busily writing my little heart out while waiting for edits that I know will cross my door soon.... and in the meantime, I'm writing fun stuff for next year, focusing on the future... We live a year ahead of schedule by necessity, so sometimes I have to pause and remind myself to live in today... and be truly present.

    Thank you for this, my friend!

    1. That's one thing I've learned about the writing life that I hadn't expected - living in the future. My focus is on a book no one else knows about yet and dates that are more than a year away. It's like shopping for Christmas gifts, isn't it? Preparing treasures for our readers to open next year. :)

      And I have to admit, I've been to Armadillo's twice since their opening on March 1. Daughter Carrie is working there now, and has a assistant manager or something... Anyway, it's very hard to stay away when she comes home talking about the flavor of the day!

    2. Ruthy, I saw your photo of opening day at Abbott's on FB. I got such a kick out it! Isn't it funny how happy the small things in life make us? :) I love it!

  2. Three years and four books later, right? And who knows how many in various stages. Woot -- happy hours ahead for this reading fan.

    1. Yes, four books so far. And another...oh, seven or eight in various stages.

      I'm in heaven. :)

  3. Happy Book Anniversary. Your daughter works at an ice cream shop? Dangerous. Do they have ice cream pies and cakes to go?

    1. Yes, very dangerous. Especially when she has just over three months until her wedding and is in the middle of fittings! But she's being smart. She doesn't snack while at work, and rewards herself with ice cream only on Fridays.

      And Armadillos doesn't do pies and cakes, but the half-gallons and quarts fly out of the store! The big things are cones, sundaes and shakes. If the temperature is above 50°, the line at the window is at least twelve people long, usually more.

      Hmm, maybe I need to go there for lunch....

  4. By the way, a fellow writer is one of the co-owners of Armadillos. My daughter's boss is Meg Brummer's husband. Isn't that cool? Keeping writing and ice cream closely entwined. :)

  5. Great idea, Jan! I know this would be delicious! I'll have to try it. I love short prep time.

    1. Baking the chicken this way keeps it so moist, and the flavors... Yeah, we're having this tonight. :)

  6. Jan, you're a life saver! Well ... a dinner saver. I think missed this recipe the first time around (?) Thanks for posting it.

    Happy First Book Anniversary! Surely such an event warrants ice cream for celebration :-)

    Nancy C

  7. Jan, I did haddock like this the other day, but I used panko breadcrumbs. Very nice and crunchy.

    I suspect hubby would love your chicken. He's always after me to fry his.