Ready or Not #57: Chicken Paremingiana

It has only been recently that I tasted Chicken Parmigiana. No, I don’t lead a sheltered life; I just never had the opportunity. Well, maybe I had the opportunity, but I chose something else. I’m glad that I finally gave in and tried it because I really like it. What is even more exciting is that I have figured out a fast, easy, cheap and food storage friendly recipe for it. It doesn’t matter that it was purely by accident, it is still above and beyond delicious – and by the way it has even less calories than the traditional version, I don’t fry the chicken in a breaded covering. Dust off your crock-pot.

First we have to start with the marinara sauce. This is where the food storage comes in handy. You will want to make your sauce from scratch and you will need tomato sauce for that. I buy my tomato sauce in the large #10 can for only about $1.79 instead of a whole bunch of small cans. The big cans store easier and are cheaper. After I open it up and use what I need, I measure the leftover sauce into zip lock bags or plastic containers and freeze them. Then, when you need to make spaghetti sauce later on, all you do is pull it out of the freezer.

The recipe for the sauce is as follows:

All-Around Excellent Herb Tomato Sauce
5 cups of tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2/3 cups olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. of granulated garlic
1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the ingredients really well and let stand for several hours (of course you know that I use it immediately) to let the flavors blend. You don’t need to cook it. This sauce is good for pizzas, for dipping garlic bread sticks and for making Chicken Parmigiana among other things. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, but it stores well and if it is in the fridge you can whip together a pizza, or whatever, in just moments and yes, you can freeze it.

To make my version of Chicken Parmigiana, take a cut up chicken, without the skin, and throw it into the crock pot, on low, and drizzle it with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit Italian Seasoning and salt and pepper – and you’re done! Well almost. When the chicken is cooked, boil some egg noodles and heat up some of the sauce. Place a piece of chicken and a serving of noodles on a plate and ladle some of the warmed up sauce over both. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve. Oh sooooo good.

Even if you didn’t make the sauce ahead of time, you will have time to make it before the water for the noodles start to boil. It really is that easy, and that yummy.

Everything used in both recipes should be items that you have stored in your food storage, even the spices. I know that they say that you should buy your spices in smaller containers so that they don’t lose their “spiciness”, but I prefer to buy in larger containers and just use it. I bought a bunch of spices from the San Francisco Spice Company quite a while back and what I did is made sure that I put them in airtight bags and then stored them in the freezer. So far they still have enough spicy and herb taste for me.

Pasta can store for a very long time. If you find that your pasta is having a small problem with weevil, just throw it in the freezer for awhile. When you buy pasta and you want to make sure that it is weevil free just throw it into the freezer right from the beginning. After about a month you can put it back on the shelf and it will last a long time.

Remember, shop in your storage and replace what you use – when it comes on sale. That sounds like a potential New Years Resolution to me. Think about it.

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