Lighter Chicken Parmesan and “Spaghetti”

January 11, 2012
When dealing with taking one of my husband’s favorite foods and transforming it into something different, and God forbid, healthy, one must tread lightly.

Rules to follow for fooling said husband:
  1. DO NOT talk about the ingredients!
  2. You DO NOT talk about the ingredients!
  3. Never answer any questions about the meal until it is completely devoured. Make yourself unseen. Even eat before he gets home from work or start doing dishes while he eats. But always keep one eye on the target.
  4. Avoid eye contact and do not giggle, because he will know something is up. It is like observing an animal in the wild; you want to blend in to your surroundings. Remember, he can sense your fear.
  5. At the end of the meal, when he says he loved it, try not to be too smug when telling him it was not what he thought it was. You don’t want a Chris Farley -like freak out on your hands.
  6. Compliment him on his apt palate and open mindedness. (A hug or kiss would probably come in hand here.)
  7. If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight. (Sorry I had to!)
1 Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Cup of Flour
1 Egg, beaten
2 Cups of Bran Flakes, finely ground
½ Cup of Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1 Cup of Vegetable Oil (for pan frying)*
2 Cups of Roasted Tomato Marinara
*If you wish to have a truly healthier version you can bake the chicken breasts in the oven instead. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the top and bottom off of the spaghetti squash. This will make it easier to cut the squash. Stand the spaghetti squash on one end and slice it down the center length-wise. Scoop out all the seeds and guts.
Cover each half of the squash in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the squash on a baking sheet cut side down and roast it in the over for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, remove the squash from the oven and flip them over. Place the squash back in the oven for another fifteen minutes.
While the squash is roasting, prepare three separate bowls for breading the chicken. In the bowl with the ground bran flakes, add the parmesan cheese, garlic, and Italian seasoning.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, then the egg, and then the bran mixture.
Over moderate high heat, heat the cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet. When the temperature of the oil reaches about 225 you can drop in the chicken breasts.
Fry each side for about 5 minutes. The breading will look darker since you used bran flakes instead of breadcrumbs.
Allow the chicken breasts to cool and drain on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving. NOTE: If you have baked the chicken breasts, ignore the above steps.)
When the squash is cooked, lightly drag the tines of a fork over the flesh to remove the spaghetti-like strands.
Plate the squash then the chicken breast. Top it with some of my homemade marinara and a dash of parmesan cheese.
NOTE FROM THE HUSBAND, AKA “CAPTAIN CARNIVORE”: I knew they weren’t real spaghetti noodles…but sometimes it’s sweet to pretend she has me fooled.
Whatever you say dear…

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