Saturday, March 23, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

A.K.A. "Pizza Chicken" in my house.

I'd been seeing this recipe for awhile on Pinterest and I finally decided to give it a try. Pizza reigns supreme with my youngest son, who also is a very (very) picky eater. So I though this recipe would be a great fit to try out on him especially. I made the original recipe once and it was a big hit with everyone in my family.

 The second time I made it (which is pictured here) I decided to make a few changes.

 The original recipe calls for using a bag of seasoned croutons for the topping, which I thought made the casserole a bit salty for my taste, so I opted to make my own croutons. The other major change I made was to cut the chicken up into smaller pieces, instead of leaving the chicken breasts whole.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole
~serves about 6~

What you need:
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
about 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into approximately 2-3 inch chunks
salt & pepper
2 1/2 - 3 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 oz. fresh grated Parmesan cheese (about a cup)
about 4 c. homemade croutons, or your favorite store bought brand (I've included my recipe below)

What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper.

3. In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, add chicken, olive oil, garlic and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Toss well, spread out in an even layer. Spread tomato sauce evenly over chicken and sprinkle with chopped basil.

4. Sprinkle half the mozzarella and half the Parmesan over the sauce layer. Spread the croutons over the cheese. Then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the layer of croutons.

5. Bake for 35 minutes.

*To make homemade croutons: 
2 cloves garlic minced to a paste
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 t. salt
4 c. fresh bread cubes (1/2 -3/4 inch cubes)

Combine oil, garlic, and salt in a large bowl. Add bread cubes and toss until well coated. Spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown.

Recipe Source: Adapted From Food Wishes

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