Last minute switch up

I'm moving out of my dorm and going back home today, which means it will be a month and a half before Matt and I see each other again. So I wanted to cook dinner for us before we parted ways. Ya know, just so he'd remember why we're dating and not find some other girl over break. ;) Actually, we'll have been together 6 months next Monday, and this is kind of our early celebration dinner.

First, rinse your chicken breasts. Then put them in a big pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. After a couple of minutes, reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes or so. Check chicken to see that it's cooked and remove from heat. Pull chicken out and set in a bowl. If you want to make chicken stock, save the water. If not, just pour it down the drain. While your chicken is cooling, you can make the sauce.

To make the sauce, I'm going to start with a basic tomato sauce/marinara

1/2 large yellow or white onion
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 heaping tablespoons tomato PASTE
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk or cream

Sautee' the onion in the olive oil until translucent, then set aside.

In a small pot, simmer the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Add the sautee'd onions and white vinegar and stir.

Let simmer for 10 minutes, then add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, sugar, and salt.

After stirring, add 1 cup of cream or whole milk (I used whole milk because I didn't have cream). Allow to simmer for 10 more minutes.

*After buying cans of tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, I came to realize that I have no can opener, and the dorm's can-opener is mysteriously missing. *sigh* So no tomato cream sauce for now...Look for it in the near future though!

I realized this AS I was preparing for dinner. No time to go buy a can opener, so I just changed plans last minute. I'm going with pan-fried chicken in a cream sauce pasta. Definitely not as healthy but oh well. I think we'll live. ;)

I prepared a mixture of parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and sugar (the same quantities as the recipe above), and added to it 1 cup of plain bread crumbs.

I whisked together an egg and a little bit of whole milk (about 1/4 cup) and dipped my chicken breasts into it one at a time (because my bowl is small).

Then I breaded them with the bread crumb mixture and pan fried them with some olive oil.

 Matt got this lovely picture of me cooking...Of course it's my best side. ;)

While the chicken was frying, I mixed together 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 cup) with 1/2 cup of whole milk, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoons of flour to make the cream sauce. I let it simmer for 10 minutes while I cooked the pasta. It's a little bit thick, but I found that it coats the pasta better at this consistency.

I incorporated the pasta into the cream sauce, and let it sit for about 5 more minutes.
Finally, I plated the pasta with the chicken breast on top, and served it with steamed broccoli.

Although this didn't turn out exactly how I wanted it to, it was still a great dinner for me and the boyfriend. But you can bet I'm going to buy a can opener for next time.

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