Parmesan Chicken

Food has gotten pretty expensive after Ondoy. Our P1,500 budget used to fill half a cart at the grocery but now, it's terrible. I've been buying the same stuff for 3 weeks now just so I can stick to the budget. So, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do - be creative. All the ingredients of this dish were readily available in the ref. All I had to buy was the chicken fillet. Saving tip: Buy ingredients which are a bit expensive (but you know will always come in handy) when you have the extra budget. When the time comes when you only have enough for a few basics, you'll be glad that you have a stash in the ref. Some of those items are Dijon mustard, Parmesan cheese, black olives, all purpose cream. You can also add some pantry staples like sauces and seasonings, canned tomatoes, mushrooms and corn. These items have been a life saver so many times that I always make sure that I have at least one or two of them at all times.

For the chicken, you will need Dijon mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter. I used about 2T mustard and a tablespoon of vinegar. Combine the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip the chicken pieces. Make sure that the chicken pieces are cut to resemble chicken fingers. In another bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and melted butter. Dredge the chicken pieces. Now, you have to cook this in an oven. I don't have an oven so I experimented with an oven toaster. Mine is Asahi brand. I put the setting to 15 minutes. Halfway through, I flipped the chicken pieces. You know what? I was very surprised. The chicken came out moist and flavorful! I never thought a regular toaster could do that.

For the tomato topping, chop some tomatoes and garlic. In a pan, cook the garlic in olive oil. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper. Continue to cook until desired consistency. Next time I will use canned crushed tomatoes for a more saucier approach.

Top the chicken pieces with the tomatoes and serve with rice, pasta or in this case, some buttered garlic baby potatoes.


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