Sometimes I have a recipe on my radar but it takes seeing it raved about on another blog to push me to make it. I've had Stephanie's Smothered Italian Chicken saved for awhile but it wasn't until Christina made it that I remembered wanting to try it myself.
This was insanely delicious. A true winner all around and something I'd absolutely serve to company (who wants to come over so I have an excuse to make it again?) I made only a few modifications, mainly in how I coated the chicken - panko is my breading of choice these days - and how I cooked the tomatoes - using this method from my roasted tomato sandwiches/flatbreads.
Seriously, just look at that crispy panko. I'm salivating remembering how good it tasted, especially smothered in that amazing sauce. The freshness of the tomatoes and spinach balanced out the creaminess from the cooking creme. Such a fantastic combination of flavors. I only made half a pound of angel hair pasta and it was more than enough for three dinners and two lunches the next day. I love how much further pasta stretches these days.
Baby Girl ate her entire bowl (pictured above), even the spinach. All told she probably had 3/4 of a piece of chicken - she kept asking for more chicken after she finished what I had cut. For her to pick chicken over more pasta was pretty incredible. I guess there's just something about that crispy panko coating. So delicious. I cannot wait to make this one again.
Smothered Italian Chicken
Slightly modified from Stephanie Cooks
5 or 6 Roma tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon each Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder
4 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
3 cups baby spinach
1 tub Philadelphia Italian Cooking Creme
1/2 lb spaghetti or angel hair, cooked according to package directions
Preheat the oven to 400. Place tomatoes in a 9x13 baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, add the Italian seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, crack eggs into a shallow dish and lightly scramble. Place panko in another shallow dish and season with the Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powders and some salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in egg, coating both sides, then add to the panko, pressing to adhere.
Heat the vegetable oil (about 1/2 inch deep in a large non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Fry the chicken in batches until crisp and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat, drain on paper towels and keep warm.
Remove the tomatoes from oven. Remove the skin, if desired, then add the spinach and cooking creme. Stir to combine then bake for another 15 minutes.
Smother the chicken with the sauce or toss the sauce with the pasta. Serve immediately over spaghetti or angel hair pasta.