Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Peppers

These were an absolute hit!!! Those of you who follow my recipes and food posts know that I absolutely LOVE to stuff peppers with just about everything! Most of the time it works, sometimes its redundant, and sometimes its a huge success. This time was a huge success, and so after quite a few requests for the recipe I  had some time to type it all up and share it with you all!

Here are a few notes tips and side notes for this recipe to help make it fit for your kitchen and your family.

Personally I like to use chicken tenders because I feel it's easier to get them cut into small pieces before cooking them vs using a chicken breast, but if you only have chicken breasts your more than welcome to use them instead.

I baked my chicken this time, but typically I would have used the air fryer to help give it an extra crunch. The other option is to pan fry your chicken in which case make sure you are adding oil to your ingredients. My personal favorite for pan fried chicken would be peanut oil, or avocado oil, but your welcome to use whatever you like best. 

You can also skip the flour if you want a healthier version of this recipe.  For this simply cut the chicken and go right to the baking step.

Currently my garden has an abundance of cherry/grape tomatoes so that is what I used for this recipe, however it's pretty well known that Roma tomatoes are best for sauces so if you would like to substitute please feel free to use your Romas and dice them instead. If you are pressed for time you can also use canned diced tomatoes in which case you do not need to cook them as long and you can add them at the same time as your other sauce ingredients. 

I use block cheese and shred it myself. I'm not sure but I have a theory that pre-shredded cheese has been tampered with because when I shred my cheese at home and put it in a container it clumps and sticks, however pre-shredded cheese does not. Plus I like the feeling of making things from scratch as much as possible and most of the time it's cheaper. When using shaker cheese (Parmesan) however you can be almost certain that the powdery stuff is mixed with cellulose and wood pulp.* So if you want the real stuff, splurge a little (real Parmesan is expensive) and shred it yourself.

Ok, so these should be all the variations and tips for this meal, let's go ahead and get started. 

1 lb chicken tenders 
2 eggs
About 20 cherry/grape tomatoes 
3 handfuls of fresh spinach
5-6 med peppers of assorted colors (if you are using large ones you may only need 4. We had these 5 and still had some stuffing leftover- not that that's a bad thing)
1 Tbsp garlic
1 stalk of fresh basil (you can use dry)
1 stalk of fresh oregano (you can use dry)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp dry chopped onion (or 1/4 small yellow onion)
1 cup mozzarella 
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Start by cutting your chicken up into 1/2 cubes- you don't have to be exact with the measurement just know that when you to batter your chicken you want to have a decent amount of chicken. No one like a mouth full of batter and no chicken. You also don't want your pieces to be too big seeing as your going to try to fit multiple pieces in each pepper.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°

3. Crack our eggs break the yolks and mix them lightly in one bowl. Then in a bowl next to that use your flour and favorite chicken spices mixed together to make your batter.

4. Take your chicken, dip it into the eggs, and then coat it with your flour. (You can repeat this a second time if you want but I just do one layer) then spread your chicken out on a cookie sheet pan.

5. Bake your chicken for 30 minutes.

6. While your chicken is baking cut your peppers in half from top to bottom and put aside.  

7. Shred your cheeses! The Parmesan is optional and you only need what you would like to sprinkle on your pepper as garnish.

8.Then cut your tomatoes into halves, and let's prepare our sauce.

9. Start with olive oil garlic and onion in your pan on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until the flavors fill your nose. 

10. Add your tomatoes, reduce your heat slightly and cover the pan. Let cook for about 10 minutes, remove lid and cook uncovered for 2 minutes while stirring. Then add your herbs, salt and pepper, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Then turn the flame off, but leave the lid on.

11. (By now your chicken should be out of the oven or almost there. When you take your chicken out of the oven leave the oven on at 350°) Take your chicken bits and your spinach, and add them to your sauce pan stir and let finish cooking for 5 more minutes or until your spinach has completely wilted.

12. Transfer your peppers on a cookie sheet and use your tomato and chicken mixture to stuff them, then top with the mozzarella. Bake these for 20 minutes.

13. Garnish with Parmesan and serve! 

* https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/feb/17/parmesan-cheese-store-bought-wood-pulp