Recipe: Aunt Jo’s Cheesy Italian Chicken

A few months ago, when I began seriously considering starting Dinners with Dan, I talked with many friends and asked what kind of content they would most want to see in a food blog.  I’ve already begun to incorporate many of these suggestions, and I will continue to integrate more as time goes on, but the most common response I received was quite simple: Easy, quick, and delicious meals that anyone can make regardless of culinary skill.

So, with that in mind, I thought I would start Dinners with Dan with the very first dish I made from a recipe when I moved into an apartment with a kitchen for the first time.  I got this recipe from my late Aunt and it quickly became a go-to.  There is nothing fancy about this, and there are many many ways you can make this recipe more decadent (and I’ve noted just a couple things I’ve done in the past below), but for tonight, for my first time sharing with you, I made it just like I did when I first made it over 6 years ago.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Aunt Jo’s Cheesy Italian Chicken

What you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves (or chicken thighs)

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 425° and spray an 8×8 baking dish.  Combine all of the dry ingredients on a plate and coat each piece of chicken thoroughly, placing it in the baking dish.  (If using chicken with skin, place the chicken skin side down).  Top with a little of the leftover seasoning, and save the rest.

Bake the chicken for 25min and then turn each piece over.  Coat the chicken again with however much of the seasoning you desire.  Bake until done, when the chicken juices are clear, about 15-20min.  Let cool, and enjoy!

Some notes:

  • The original recipe calls for Bisquick mix.  If you don’t have any available, it’s very easy to create a substitute.  Combine 1 cup of flour with 1.5 tsp of baking powder, 1 tbsp of shortening, oil, or melted butter, and a pinch of salt.
  • Baking times may vary.  I used Trader Joe’s Organic Free Range chicken breasts, so they cooked a bit longer than chicken bought at say, Safeway, would take due to thickness.
  • There are many ways to play with this recipe.  One of my favorites is to add extra oregano to the seasoning as well as putting shredded Parmesan on top after turning for a stronger cheese flavor.  Another way to make this recipe, if you do not feel like baking, is to pan-sear the chicken instead.  If pan-searing, I recommend coating the chicken with cooking oil or water prior to seasoning it just to ensure the seasonings have a greater chance of staying on while simmering in the oil.

Have you made (or tried) something like this before?  What did you think?

If you feel inspired to make this delicious recipe, let me know how it goes!  Tweet me @DinnersWithDan or post on the Dinners With Dan Facebook page!

Until next time, happy cooking!

– Dan

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