I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon this weekend, which was an amazing but intense experience. On Saturday, I was up by 5:30 am to get over to the starting line just a short drive away. By the time I crossed the finish line in about two hours, E was there waiting with a smile.
E took care of me so well after the big race. Not only did he immediately cook me breakfast while I soaked my sore bones in a bath, he took care of dinner, too (“Seamless.com, baby. We’re ordering in”). The next day, he cleaned the apartment. Yes, ladies, my man cooks AND cleans. Jealous yet?
I hobbled to the store Sunday afternoon to forage groceries, while E headed out to Home Depot to rent a steam cleaner. “I’m going to finally take care of these floors,” he declared.
When I got home with groceries in hand, my man had cleaned the floors, steam cleaned our rugs and had the dished put away and cleaned when I came home. Yes, sirree! Those floors were shining! The whole place smelled pine fresh! NOW, people, do you understand why I am making this man 300 SANDWICHES?! Does your man clean your floors?! If he does, you make that man a sandwich! He deserves it.
When the floors were dry, I got to work on a manly dinner that would communicate how grateful I was to E for doing the spring cleaning. I dug out the Crock Pot (Oh, Crockie, I haven’t abandoned you. It’s just that the weather had been so nice the past few weekends, we didn’t make hot, cold night type meals!). Crock Pot chicken parm would be a solid protein rich meal for me post-13.1 miles, and tasty and filling for E. Plus, I wouldn’t have to spend a long time on my feet hobbling from one end of the kitchen to another. Throw in breadcrumb-covered chicken, marinara sauce, mozzarella and seasoning in the CP, and go sit on the couch with your feet up.
Four hours later, we had dinner. We sat on our couch, the rug still a bit damp from its cleaning, and tucked into the sandwiches. “Babes, this is one of your best,” E said. After taking care of me post marathon and cleaning the floors, E deserved nothing less.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
1 jar marinara sauce
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Italian seasoning or Herbs de provence
1/4 cup oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 pound (4-5 slices) fresh mozzarella
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley
1 or 2 tablespoons chili flakes
In a crockpot, spoon in the olive oil.
In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Italian season, salt, pepper and oregano. In another bowl, beat egg. Then, take your chicken parts (one pound of boneless skinless chicken is usually about 4 good sized breasts), and coat with the egg coating first, then dip in bread crumb mixture and cover the chicken thoroughly with crumbs, herbs de provence, salt and pepper. Place chicken at bottom of crockpot. When all of the chicken is layered at the bottom of crockpot, slice mozzarella and layer slices of mozzarella on top of the chicken. Then, pour bottle of marinara sauce on top of the chicken. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high heat, or 6-8 on low to medium heat. A half hour from completion, sprinkle parsley and chili flakes on top.
When done, toast a baguette and cut into 4 to 6 inch sandwich-sized servings. Place bread on serving plate, then layer on chicken breast with heaping spoonful of sauce. Top with extra grated parm if you like. Serve. Makes 4 sandwiches.