‘Tis the season of eating! So it seems appropriate to share a recipe for what happens to be my daughter’s all-time favorite meal: chicken parmesan. I used this meal in a pivotal scene in my novel Take Two: a Hollywood Romance.
The first time the hero (Zac) sees the heroine (Gina) in her home, with her teenage daughters, he is surprised to see her cooking like a normal mom (since he’s only interacted with her on a film set):
“Oh my gosh, you’re here!” A girl jumped up from the table and threw her arms around him. “You’re really here!”
Zac chuckled self-consciously. “I guess you don’t mind having me. You must be…”
“I’m Allie,” she said. “And that’s my big sister Christine.”
“We have visitors fairly often,” Christine said. “Lots of overnights for mom’s work. None as famous as you, though.”
“Famous?” he said. “I think you’ve got me confused with someone else.” He glanced at Gina. It was odd seeing her in a kitchen, making dinner. Like a normal parent…
“Now that introductions are done,” Gina said, “Do you have an appetite at all? Tonight’s fare is chicken parmesan.”
To his surprise, he felt as though he could actually eat something. “I’d like that,” he said. “Though I should probably shower…”
“Eat first,” Gina said as she placed a hotplate on the table. “Or it may be gone when you get here.”
His mouth watered and when Allie said, “Sit here, Zac!” he did.
“You do kind of smell like a hospital,” Allie said.
“Allie!” Christine said.
“I sort of still feel like that, too,” Zac said. “Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Allie said. “After what you’ve been through and all, we understand.”
“Hmm.” How much did these girls of Gina’s know?
And now for the recipe…
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 34 minutes
Yield: Makes 4 Servings
- 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese, or more
- 1 jar (16 oz) spaghetti sauce
- Parmesan cheese
Whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken breasts in milk and egg mixture and then in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken in the hot oil on both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Set chicken in a baking dish.
Slice 8 pieces of mozzarella cheese and put two on each chicken breast. Pour 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce over all. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a little more mozzarella and bake at 350° for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serve with spaghetti, garlic bread and a nice green salad.
A Harley-riding Hollywood director and single mom’s personal life collides with her leading man’s when he is poisoned on the set.
Take Two: a Hollywood Romance is the first book in the Lady Biker Series. The series features four women friends who also happen to be biker chicks. The four women, as different as can be, are bound by their mutual love of motorcycling.