Wednesday, July 7, 2010

UnRecipe: Doing Minimal Harm With Chicken Parm

Minimal harm to one's waistline, anyways. I had been feeling my tummy's yearning for Italian food and threw something simple together for a quick meal that resulted in some minor respiratory difficulty and tasty Chicken Parmesan and Roasted Zucchini.

Stop coughing, you big baby, it's just red pepper flakes turned into an airborn weapon - Photo by Wasabi Prime

So the "minimal harm" part is a half-truth. I made a pantry marinara sauce with the last can of chopped tomatoes and a couple of cans of tomato paste, along with some dried herbs. Nothing fancy, I just needed red sauce and it seems silly to buy the premade stuff in bottles (more than likely sweetened with corn syrup) when there's canned tomato goods available. Before the tomatoes came into the picture, I added chopped garlic into olive oil warming in a pan, as well as red pepper flakes. Unfortunately, the oil was warmer than it should have been and I was very liberal with the red pepper flakes, creating an airborne pepper spray effect that permeated the kitchen and living room. It sent Mr. Wasabi into a coughing fit and while I was holding back my own desire to hack up a lung as I fanned the fumes into the stove vent, I insisted it was nothing and he just needed to cowboy up. Once again, a strong, healthy longterm relationship built upon the foundation of denial and insults. Dr. Phil, eat your heart out.

Aside from that kitchen incident, the meal was pretty straightforward. I had defrosted some chicken breasts and split them lengthwise to make them thinner. Lightly breading them and browning them in a pan, they chilled out until the anthrax marinara sauce was ready, and then nestled the little chickadees into the saucy pan. I layered the chicken with slices of Provolone cheese and shreds of Parmesan, and placed the whole pan under the broiler until melted and bubbly. I'm pretty sure this isn't the official way to make this dish, but I'm somewhat certain that if you went to Italy and asked for chicken Parmesan, they'd look at you like a crazy person and tell you to go back to America for your bowl of Spaghetti-O's, so I don't feel too bad about not being particularly authentic about this UnRecipe.

Cheesy, melty, roasty deliciousness - Photos by Wasabi Prime

As for the roasted zucchini, this was the voice in my head saying, "These roast beautifully and they'll be a healthy pasta substitute." I'm pretty sure this imaginary voice in my brain is a liar-liar-pants-on-fire. There is nothing as good as pasta. But I also enjoy having a meal and not having my stomach feel distended and in pain, as I seem to be suffering from both discomforts when I have bready things lately, so the zucchini won out. I'm starting to discover the particulars with the way we eat, with the extreme cutback of breads and pasta, seem to lead towards my stomach becoming Ground Zero for much umbrage when I do indulge in something carbo-licious. Does it stop me from having baked goods and other tasty treats? Hell to the no. Just beg my pardon in advance for switching into drawstring sweatpants immediately after a meal and stretching out on the couch as I fall into a deep food coma.

Bookmark and Share


  1. I've had similar chili napalm experiences.

    My disaster went pretty much the same as yours, except, just to add to the overall discomfort, I'd just spent some time slicing fresh chili and when the dried flakes that the recipe needed as well hit the hot pan and the pepper spray thing happened, I instinctively rubbed my eyes.

    With my chili stained hands.

    It was mildly painful, and I completely failed to cowboy up.

  2. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our

    giveaway blog network: Giveaway Scout ( Have a

    look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog

    ( ). thanks, Josh


Commentary encouraged. Fresh baked cookies, super-encouraged. (hit the 'post comment' button twice, sometimes it's buggy)