Chicken Romano and Brownies

I came across a recipe video one morning a few weeks ago. It was for chicken breaded with panko crumbs and fried in a pan. I watched part of the video and moved on, but about an hour later I realized I NEEDED that chicken. The wheels starting turning: breaded chicken… with pasta… chicken parm… Pretty soon I was dying for something savory and comfort-y. I also needed dessert, of course.

But there was a catch: it was my day off and I didn’t want to leave the house if it wasn’t necessary. If I didn’t have all of the ingredients I needed, it wasn’t going to happen. So I raided the cabinets and luckily for me, everything I needed was right there. It figures that I couldn’t find the recipe video I had seen just an hour before. But I could wing it, right?

I admit, I’ve never breaded chicken before. My cousin’s response to this statement was, “WHAT?!” I suppose that’s kind of surprising for someone who lives on chicken. But I don’t cook much and without the video I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing. I could have sworn the video had said to coat the chicken in egg first, then flour, and then the crumbs. But I couldn’t remember. I was pretty sure flour usually came first but maybe this recipe was different. Would it matter either way?

Chicken in pan final edit

I flattened the chicken (also my first time) and coated it with egg first. Then the flour and then the panko crumbs with some salt, pepper, and garlic thrown in. It was hard to get the crumbs to stick to the chicken but it seemed okay other than that. I fried it up in some olive oil while boiling the linguini (that’s all that was in the cabinet). I don’t know how to make tomato sauce and probably wouldn’t have had what I needed anyway, so I topped it with some jar sauce. I didn’t have any cheese so, hey, we’ll call this Chicken Romano.

Chicken Romano final edit

Looks pretty good, right? The chicken came out very similar to The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Romano, only… more bland. Maybe it needed more breading after all or maybe it just needed more seasoning. It tasted pretty good with the sauce so I wasn’t complaining.

On to the brownies. First, I’d like to state for the record that I am very, very opposed to boxed mixes. But I could have sworn Mama Bear had left behind a box of brownie mix and I would have broken my No Mix rule on this day because dessert was a necessity. I don’t remember ever using this brownie mix but it wasn’t in the cabinet (do I bake in my sleep and eat it all at once?! Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised). I didn’t have any baking chocolate either, so I found myself a brownie recipe online that called for cocoa powder. I no longer have this recipe but I’ll post it if I come across it later.

Secondly, I’d like to state for the record that I am very, very opposed to cakey brownies. There’s nothing worse than biting into something and expecting gooey chewy goodness, only to bite into a piece of cake. Do I love cake? Of course. But not when it’s supposed to be a brownie. And this recipe made me a little nervous because many of the reviews said the brownies came out cakey. But dessert was necessary. Onward!

Mixing brownies edit 2

The batter was runny and bubbly and I worried more and more. Thin batter can’t possibly come out fudgy, can it?

Brownie 2

Yes, it can! Well, it can when you undercook them just a tad. The texture was amazing. The flavor was a little lacking and I’d definitely add more cocoa powder next time but these brownies were extremely edible. I wish I had some right now.

My brother (aka Boy) stopped by for some leftovers the next day. When asked what he thought of my Chicken Romano, he said, “The pasta and sauce is really good. The chicken is eh.” So the parts he liked where the parts that involved opening packages and heating. Thanks, Boy.

What does he know? I’d count this day as a win overall. But if anyone has any tips on breading chicken…

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