Cooking On A Budget: Tyson's Crispy Chicken Parmigiana

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Tyson's Crispy Chicken Parmigiana


When asked to compete in a recipe contest for Tyson's Crispy Chicken Strips by The Daily Meal I was to say the least excited about the challenge. The task was to create a recipe that would be judged by the following criteria:
  • versatility
  • creativity
  • simplicity
Tyson crispy chicken strips are all white meat and have a crunchy coating. They are fully cooked then individually quick frozen so all you have to do is pop them in a 400° oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. What more can you ask for from a 100% all white meat product with a delicious crunchy coating? They would make a fantastic dinner with some macaroni and cheese and a side salad. Easy, right?

Well I came up with something just as easy. Tyson Crispy Chicken Parmigiana. Think about it - you don't have to go through the breading process as it's all done for you. All you need is some pasta, spaghetti sauce and Parmesan and mozzarella cheese and you too can have a great tasting meal on the table in about 30 minutes.

  • 1 bag Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips
  • 1/2 - 3/4 lb. spaghetti pasta - cooked el dente according to manufacturer's directions.
  • 2 - 3 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
You can do this casserole style or in individual gratins like I did. I used two strips for each gratin, but if you are doing this family style you will need to use the bag of twelve. If you don't have mozzarella cheese on hand then Monterey Jack is a great substitute. We don't buy expensive Parmesan cheese in a block to grate but by all means if you have fresh Parmesan use it. Also if you don't have spaghetti pasta, use another that you do have like a hearty penne or ziti.
  1. Cook your pasta according to box directions and be sure to cook it el dente as it cooks more as it bakes in the oven. Drain the pasta well.
  2. To a casserole dish add some sauce to the bottom and layer on a good amount of pasta over that.
  3. Spread some more sauce across the pasta per your individual taste.
  4. Add in the chicken pieces and top with more sauce.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese all over the chicken, sauce and pasta.
  6. Top with lots of mozzarella cheese followed by a drizzle of olive oil over the cheese.
  7. Bake in a preheated 400° for 18-20 minutes until the cheese is completely melted.
Serve with a side salad or another vegetable of your choosing for a great weeknight meal. Now how easy was that? In the time it takes you to boil the pasta, open a jar of sauce, open the cheeses and assemble this dinner and bake it you are talking dinner on the table in 30 minutes. What a time saver this chicken is!

If you don't use all the chicken strips for this meal, they have a handy zip closure so you can pop the bag back in the freezer to use for another night. I am also thinking that if you cook all of the strips up for a dinner like I suggested above with macaroni and cheese and end up with left overs, that the left-overs could be used in a mason jar salad for work the next day. Add your dressing to the bottom of the jar followed by your greens and chicken and whatever other vegetables you like in your salad. When you are ready to eat your lunch just shake the jar to distribute the dressing.

Look for this versatile and delicious coated frozen and ready to bake product in the frozen food section of your local grocery store.

If you are cooking for two this product is especially economical. There are 12 portions in the bag which means this bag would be suitable for at least 3 meals.

At the retail price that means you spend a little over $3.00 for the protein. Now that's budget cooking!
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