Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan


Cameron is vegetarian and I'm a full on carnivore so making dinner can sometimes be tricky. I was dead set on a chicken parm and figured cauliflower would be a good meat stand it. (I was right!) Depending on your preference, you can make a pan with the chicken and a pan with the cauliflower to keep things separate. 

To keep things healthier, I decided not to fry the chicken and cauliflower. Everything was breaded as usual but instead for frying on the stove in oil, a simple baking rack over a pan in a hot oven did the trick in getting things nice and crispy. If you don't have a baking rack, just place chicken and cauliflower on a baking sheet. 

This recipe can easily be modified to be fully vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using less (about 1 cup) bread crumbs. It will them only serve 2. It can also be made gluten free by using gluten free breadcrumbs. 

Serves 4. 

 Baked Chicken + Cauliflower Parmesan

 3 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 head cauliflower, sliced into larger, flatter pieces of several florets

1 lb thin sliced chicken breast cutlets, seasoned with s + p 

14 oz marinara sauce - jarred or homemade

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Heat oven to 475 degrees, use the convection or fan setting if you have it. Grease a baking rack. Arrange over a rimmed baking tray. Set aside. 

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, basil and oregano.

Set up your breading station assembly line style with your chicken and cauliflower on one end, then the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, next the shallow bowl of now seasoned bread crumbs and finally the prepared rack. Start with the cauliflower. Dip a piece in the eggs, coating completely, dip into breadcrumbs - coating completely and place on rack. Repeat with all the cauliflower and then chicken. Bake 20 minutes, flip and bake about 10 minutes more. Check on things here and there to make sure nothing is burning. Things should be a crispy golden brown and the chicken should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees. 

Remove from oven. Carefully separate rack from tray. Arrange chicken and cauliflower on rimmed tray and top with marinara sauce and cheese. Return to oven and bake until sauce is hot and cheese is melted, about 8 minutes.