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.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon (half a pinch) kosher salt
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 pound (4-5 slices) fresh mozzarella
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 or 2 tablespoons chili flakes (optional)
4 sandwich sized baguettes or rolls
In a crockpot, spoon in the olive oil and minced garlic.
In a medium sized bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Italian season, pepper, salt and Parmesan cheese. In another bowl, beat egg. Then, take your chicken breast (one pound of boneless skinless chicken is usually 3 or 4 good sized breasts), and coat with egg first, then dip in bread crumb mixture and coat the chicken thoroughly. Place chicken at bottom of crockpot. Slice mozzarella and layer slices 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 to 8 hours on low to medium heat. A half hour from completion, sprinkle parsley and optional chili flakes on top.
When done, toast baguette or rolls. 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.