Chicken (of the Woods) Parmesan
Chicken parmesan is a classic, fun and simple Italian dish that I grew up having on the rare occasion my mom felt like going to the effort to make it. It's such great comfort food and conjures nostalgia. The only vegetarian version of this dish that I have had is eggplant parmesan, which IS NOTHING LIKE THE ORIGINAL!!!! Eggplant has its place, but its too wet and slimy to truly replace the (dare I say) moist and tender yet firm texture of chicken. One of my favorite things about the chicken of the woods mushroom is how it replicates the texture of real chicken almost identically. And, boy, does it work well in this dish!
1 lb Chicken of the woods, with dense, woody stemmy parts trimmed off
(should be about 4 to 8 medium sized fans)
1 c chicken or vegetable/mushroom stock
½ c AP flour
½ c Italian breadcrumbs
½ c milk
1 large egg
1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 c of marinara
1 8 oz box of linguine
Arugula or other greens for topping
Place a grate into pressure cooker/instant pot. Pour in chicken stock (or vegetable stock). Place chicken of the woods over the grate. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, whisk together the milk and egg in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together the AP flour and breadcrumbs. Pour about an inch of canola oil into a large
pan and heat to 375 degrees. Once chicken is done, let cool briefly and drop in milk egg mix and then dredge in flour mix. Place into hot oil.
Once all the chicken pieces are in the hot oil, cook on both sides until golden brown, about three or four minutes on each side. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees, while chicken is cooking. Also get a pot of water started heating up for the pasta.
Transfer all chicken pieces to baking sheet and place in oven. While chicken is cooking, cook pasta. Pour marinara into saucepan to heat up, stirring somewhat regularly so as not to burn. Flip chicken pieces after about 6 or 7 minutes.
As pasta is close to done, remove chicken from oven. Spoon marinara over each piece and place a thick slice of mozzarella on top. Turn oven onto broil and place back into oven.
Pasta should be done. Go ahead and strain, and drizzle oil over the pasta and using a pasta spoon stir so as to prevent sticking. Work quickly to ensure chicken doesn’t burn under the broiler.
Check chicken. Once cheese is melted and maybe has a little bit of a golden hue, remove from broiler.
Place a serving of pasta onto each plate, spoon some sauce over the pasta and a handful of arugula over the sauce. Nestle a couple pieces of the chicken of the woods into the bed of arugula. Serve and enjoy!