Progress is an odd concept, isn’t it? We all tend to think that we are moving forward when we can measure our successes in clearly defined steps. In fact, rather than in a straight line, progress tends to happen in fits and starts. This happens frequently in the dr deb office and I often warn my clients that when they begin to feel better, they need to expect and to integrate the inevitable setbacks. In reality, progress is rarely linear.
Spring arrived in Warwick last week in a flourish of tiny buds and bright daffodils. Yesterday, it disappeared again. The temperature dropped, the wind picked up and it began to snow, then to snow harder, and then, remarkably, to hail! This morning, I ran 5 miles in a light snow.
Here in the construction from hell, sometimes it feels we move more backward than forward! The soapstone countertops arrived from Vermont. They were the wrong size and never even made it off the truck. The lighting is delayed. A friend recommended a trustworthy painter, who seems to have dropped off the planet.
I’ve been wanting to give you my amazing recipe for Chicken Parm since I started Deb’sPotsBlog. Envisioning the photographs of cooking and serving in the new kitchen has served as a motivator during some of the more uncomfortable moments in the construction process. But a few days ago, in the middle of the most recent snafu (the stone cutter guys decided not to follow through with their promise to install the backsplash), I got an incredible craving. I really wanted Chicken Parm, could practically taste the crispy coating, the sweet/savory tomato sauce and the ooey gooey melty cheese.
The meaning of the craving became clear to me: I need to practice what I preach: Live in the moment. I don’t need to have my new kitchen or even to have made linear progress towards that goal. I can practice mindfulness. I will embrace what I have now. I went to the store and bought the ingredients to make and photograph this wonderful dish for you today. I hope you don’t mind that I’m still using the toaster to bake. I hope you don’t mind that there are still wires banging me in the head while I am cooking, and that guys are sanding, nailing and sawing while I work. And I hope you enjoy making Chicken Parm wherever you are cooking right now.
Deb’s Chicken Parm
This chicken parm is pretty healthy and low fat. You may make it gluten free, as I have done here, by substituting Mindfulness Bread crumbs* for the panko in the coating. I prefer the packaged, square mozzarella for this recipe. Good fresh mozz has too much moisture and makes everything too soggy.
1 recipe Crispy Chicken (don’t cut the breast halves into “fingers,” leave them whole)
1 cup warm marinara sauce (use your favorite or the meatless version here)
4 slices mozzarella
grated parm, for serving**
Preheat the broiler while you prep the chicken. Top each half breast with 2 tbs. sauce and 1 slice of mozz. Broil until the cheese is melty and brown. Serve with remaining sauce and parm.
*Toast a few slices of Mindfulness Bread. Tear into small pieces and pulse in the food processor until you have nice, small crumbs. Are you worried about the raisins? Don’t!
**I always use good Parmigiano Reggiano
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