Confession: I LOVE Italian food and I make a lot of pasta dishes. I have always said that any dish with pasta, tomato sauce, and cheese is a dish for me! I am a huge fan of chicken parmesan and have tried several ways to make it. In the past, my go to method of making it was to bread the chicken, then bake it. Unfortunately, I always ended up with chicken that was mushy at the bottom, no matter what breading method I tried. One day, I was watching Food Network and I saw Aaron McCargo, Jr. (aka Big Daddy) make a chicken parmesan where the chicken breast was fried, instead of baked, and it has become my go to recipe for chicken parm!
Big Daddy’s chicken parmesan, while incredibly delicious, is also incredibly intensive…pounding the chicken breast until it is thin, breading, frying…what a mess. I do not mind putting in the work the recipe requires on a Sunday night, but on a weeknight, it’s just not happening. So, what’s a busy mom to do? Improvise of course! I created ‘Popcorn Chicken Parmesan’ and it couldn’t be a simpler dish to make.
Popcorn Chicken Parmesan
1 cup thin spaghetti
1 Jar spaghetti sauce
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
½ bag frozen popcorn chicken
Cook pasta according to package directions. Fry, or bake, popcorn chicken (I popped mine in the deep fryer) and cut each “popcorn” in half. Heat the spaghetti sauce in small pan. In a large pot, combine the pasta, sauce, mozzarella, and popcorn chicken. Heat thoroughly, stirring frequently to ensure that the cheese melts. Serve with a vegetable and garlic bread.
This dish was rated five stars by everyone in the house! My daughter says that she likes this dish better than my normal chicken parmesan because she did not have to cut a large chicken breast. Lazy? Of course!
Side note: my husband and I both took the leftovers for lunch the following day and it was just as good the second time around.