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Mexicali Chicken Parmesan

Mexicali Chicken Parmesan

Erica Schwarz
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.