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Chicken Parmesan Casserole



So apparently, if a recipe calls for 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella, and you measure out a cup of shredded mozzarella, it's not the same thing. Yeah. Go figure. Of course, I discover this crucial fact after my dish goes into the oven. Classic. But seriously, how am I supposed to know that 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella equals two cups and not one? As far as I can remember, Mr.G had four quarts, two pints in each quart, two cups in each pint, and 8 ounces in each cup. I was never informed that mozzarella would be an exception. They need to start including that in school curriculums. Forreal.


Anyways, rant over. I ended up sprinkling the rest of the required amount of mozzarella cheese ten minutes before I took my casserole out of the oven and it was just fine. No biggie. Just another learning experience. There's no way that I'll forget that 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella is equal to two cups the next time I make this casserole. And there will indeed be a next time, and many more times after that, because it is ah-may-zing.


All props go to Chef John over at Food Wishes for this exceptional idea and recipe. I mean, this is as brilliant as brilliant gets. You skip the breading and frying and still end up with crispy, tender, and delicious chicken. How? Garlic croutons. Sprinkled on top of the chicken and covered with cheese, they provide that crunch that so many of us crave in classic chicken Parmesan. Not only that, but the bottoms of the croutons soak up the marinara sauce and juices of the chicken, making for an even more flavorful dish.


Not a single complaint from my family on this one. Not even half a complaint. Of course, that's great because I love making my family's tummies happy. But I also wouldn't have minded if at least one person didn't like it, you know, so maybe I'd have some more for myself. This casserole will make you selfish yo. It will also have you setting a new standard, where you will be hesitant to have any other kind of chicken Parmesan dish anywhere else, as it will suffer extremely by comparison.

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

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Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
hot red pepper flakes, to taste
1 whole chicken breast, sliced into 6 fillets 
One 24-oz. jar of marinara sauce
4 teaspoons dried basil
8 oz mozzarella, shredded (divided)
4 oz Parmesan, grated (divided)
Half of a 5-oz package Garlic & Cheese croutons

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Drizzle olive oil on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Sprinkle garlic and red pepper flakes over oil. Arrange chicken breasts in a single layer on top of oil. Pour marinara sauce over the chicken breasts and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle dried basil over the sauce. 

Sprinkle 4 ounces of the shredded mozzarella and 2 ounces of the grated Parmesan over the basil. Then evenly distribute the croutons over the cheese. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the croutons (4 more ounces of mozzarella and 2 more ounces of Parmesan). 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. (Optional: Serve with pasta)

Adapted from Food Wishes

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