Chicken Parm

Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.14.21 PM
Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.14.21 PM


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs
4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or more if needed
1 cup olive oil for frying
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Season chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  3. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan in a separate bowl, set aside.
  5. Place flour in a sifter or strainer; sprinkle over chicken breasts, evenly coating both sides.
  6. Dip flour coated chicken breast in beaten eggs. Transfer breast to breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for each breast. Set aside breaded chicken breasts for about 15 minutes.
  7. Heat 1 cup olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Cook chicken until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.
  8. Place chicken in a baking dish and top each breast with about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce. Layer each chicken breast with equal amounts of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and provolone cheese. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned and bubbly, and chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees.

While this isn’t the healthiest meal it could be worse. The frying would be the least healthy part of the process. The calories came out to a little over 700 which isn’t bad. Eating this and only this will result in a decrease in many things but one that sticks out is iron. This meal has little iron and would result in weaker bones. The amount of cards is only about 80 grams which would make a person have much less energy. Somebody who only ate this wouldn’t be able to do much. The food I would have used would not have been locally grown. The tomatoes came from California. So they didn’t travel too far but they did travel. The meal cost under 30 dollars which is more than fast food but also much better for you than fast food. Growing my own tomatoes would have made the cost go down as well as the reifications on the environment.

This unit has taught me a lot. The obesity part of the unit taught me the most. Like most Americans I assumed that obesity only lead to heart disease and diabetes.  To  find out it also causes stroke and depression was eye opening. The study where Australians were put onto the western diet and got many diseases, was the most revealing. It really showed how great out choice in food can affect us and those around us.

As a teenager I can actively choose what to it. A child is at the whim of what their parents want to eat. Now I can help decide what my family eats. I am able to make my family healthier by asking for better foods. This change would give my family more energy and help us to make better choices all around. My family has tried to make these changes. every time we do we all feel better until we slip again. This often happens after about two months. We all exercise and eat right but then a holiday roles around and we all slip back into old habits. It is easier for the youth of my house to make these changes as we all can play sports at our respective schools. My parents have a harder time but support us in our choices.