How about a Mexican spin on an Italian classic? With creamy spaghetti, cheese, and even avocado, Mexicali Chicken Parmesan will be a hit with your family.
Truth be told, I was really just looking for an excuse to fry up some cutlets, one of my favorite things to eat. This is insane it’s so good. I took an old pasta recipe I’ve made for years using Rotel and cream of mushroom soup, and completely made it over, ditching the soup and adding roasted peppers, into a dish I would be proud to serve anyone.
Mexicali Chicken Parmesan
For the chicken
- 4 chicken cutlets ~1 lb
- all purpose flour for dredging
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c crushed Ritz crackers 10 crackers
- 1/2 c plain Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 c freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 1/3-1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 avocado pit and peel removed, sliced
- sliced pepper-jack cheese
For the spaghetti
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1/2 lb spaghetti
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 T all-purpose flour
- 2 c lowfat milk
- 2 c shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- good pinch fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 t dried oregano
- 1/4 t chili powder
- 1/4 t cumin
- 1 can Rotel Original chopped tomato and green chilies drained reserving 2 T juice
- chopped green onion for garnish
- Heat oven broiler. Put a large pot of water to boil.
- Put the peppers under the broiler, turning every couple minutes until charred and roasted (note that the poblanos will cook faster then the bell peppers). Transfer to a ziploc bag to steam.
- While peppers are cooking, set up a dredging station for the chicken cutlets: one dish with flour, one with egg wash (the egg beaten lightly with 2 T water), and one dish with the crackers, Panko crumbs, and parmesan combined. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet on medium-high heat using enough oil to coat the pan with ~1/4-in depth (that was 1/3 c in my pan). When well-heated (a drop of water added sizzles), prepare the chicken: One by one, take a seasoned cutlet, dredge in flour (shaking off the excess), dip in egg wash, and coat in the cracker mixture. Add to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, flipping once, until browned. Remove the chicken to a baking sheet.
- For the pasta sauce, heat the flour and butter in a medium saucepan, whisking to combine. When it starts to bubble, cook 1 minute, then slowly add the milk whisking constantly. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring, until slightly thickened, remove from the heat and add the cheese and seasonings. Whisk until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Add the drained Rotel and 2 T of the reserved Rotel juice. Place back on medium-low heat while the spaghetti cooks. Stir often.
- Add the spaghetti to the pot of water to cook along with a palmful of salt. Cook to al dente. Drain and put back in the pot. Add the Rotel-cheese sauce and mix (this will thicken as it cools).
- While pasta is cooking, take the peppers from the ziploc bag and remove the stems, seeds, and the blackened skins. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- To finish the chicken, top each cutlet with avocado slices, then a slice of pepper-jack cheese. Put under the broiler 1 minute or so until cheese melts.
- To serve, place a serving of pasta on the plate. Top with a layer of roasted peppers, then with a piece of chicken. Garnish with green onion. Serves 4.