Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

I wanted to make something healthy for an impromptu, no occasion, mid-week family gathering but didn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen prepping.  I thought about a simple ground sirloin meatloaf and a salad, but meatloaf, even with ground sirloin, screams, “Boring!”.

Having just gone to the grocery store yesterday, I was SO not in the mood to go again today.  Thankfully a dive into the freezer led to a discovery of 2 pounds of frozen ground chicken breast and 3 pounds of handmade gourmet chicken sausage I’d had to freeze due to family drama derailing a dinner a couple of weeks ago!  A quick check of the pantry confirmed that I still had a jar of the amazing Gia Russa Hot Sicilian Marinara I’d come across at World Market, I always have pasta, Parmesan & mozzarella and the makings for a green salad, so dinner is handled!  Whew…

chixparmml3

Spicy Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil or butter
  • 2 pounds ground chicken breast
  • 3 chicken “Italian” sausages
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained (these are a bit spicy, you can use diced tomatoes instead)
  • 3/4 cup seasoned Panko crumbs
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1+1/2 cups marinara sauce (I use a spicy sauce)
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

First Prepare the Sausages:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Place the sausages into a rimmed baking pan.
  3. Cook for 30-45 minutes (depending on how big the sausages are) until casings begin to brown.
  4. Remove sausages from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F
  6. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the paddle or dough hook attachment, combine the ground chicken, eggs, Panko, tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 Cup of the marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Using a sharp / serrated knife, slice the sausage links into rounds.
  8. There isn’t much fat in the ground chicken breast, so, using about a tablespoon of le-creuset-heritage-covered-square-cherry-red-baking-disholive oil or butter, grease the bottom and sides of your chosen baking dish. NOTE:  I use a Le Cruset® square 3 QT Covered Baking Dish so I can keep it warm out of the oven and at the table.
  9. Take approximately 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce and spread it along the bottom of the pan then layer 1/2 of your sausage slices on top of the sauce.
  10. Mound 1/2 of your ground chicken mixture into the pan then layer the rest of your chixparmml1slices on top of that. (This is why I use the larger, square shaped pan.
  11. Mound the rest of the ground chicken mixture on top of the second layer of sausage slices then, using your hands (or a pair of rubber spatulas) shape the meat in from the sides to form a loaf mounding up towards the middle.
  12. Top the meatloaf with the rest of the marinara sauce allowing it to spill down the sides.  NOTE:  You can prepare up to this point, cover and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook.  If you are going to do that, allow to sit on the counter while you are waiting for the oven to preheat.chixparmml2
  13. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until chicken is cooked (insert instant read thermometer into the center of loaf should read 165°F).
  14. When done remove and add the mozzarella cheese on top.
  15. If you have extra marinara sauce, put into a small saucepan and warm to serve alongside slices if desired.
  16. Return the meatloaf to the oven until the cheese is melted.
  17. Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Prepare some wide egg noodles, fettuccini, angel hair, spaghetti, or spaghettini.
  • Drain.
  • Toss warm pasta with some butter or olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.
  • Pile some pasta in the center of the plate, then lay a thick slice of the meatloaf atop the pasta.
  • If you have warmed some of the extra sauce, ladle a bit of it on top of the meat and grate a bit more fresh Parmesan (or shake some out of the green can) cheese on top.
  • Toss a crisp green salad and dinner is served. #ThisGirlLovesToEat

The meatloaf came out moist and didn’t end up needing the extra sauce.  When I reheated the extra slices in the microwave the next day I added the sauce.

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Pot Roast That’s Truly Drool Worthy

potroast2My Mom made an ok pot roast, but it was never a meal I looked forward to or asked her to make.  In fact, if I called home and heard pot roast was for dinner I’d stay at school late for a Del Taco run with the Walnut High School Cayuse Yearbook crew.

She’d grab a 7 bone (blade cut) roast at the grocery store, heat some vegetable oil in a skillet, coat each side of the meat in flour, salt & pepper, then brown it over high heat. After that she’d fill the pan up about halfway with water, reduce the heat to medium-ish, put the lid on and let it braise for about 2 hours.  When it came time to serve it there would be boxed mashed potatoes (my Mom didn’t do peel/boil/mash), and peas or corn.  My Dad used to smother it in ketchup.  Not sure what that said about her pot roast, but in my eyes, if you’re hiding the meat under ketchup it’s a waste of the 2 hours she took to cook it.

huntsI never want to see a meal I have taken the time and effort to prepare covered in ketchup (unless it’s meat loaf or a hamburger…), so I’ve changed Mom’s prep a bit and come up with a pot roast that doesn’t make my husband suggest we eat out instead.

Drool Worthy Pot Roast

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds Boneless Chuck Roast (Because they will trim the excessive fat, I prefer to get it from the butcher case instead of grabbing a pre-packaged roast from the meat aisle)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Tonight I used Hunt’s)
  • 6 Carrots peeled, and cut in half
  • 8-10 Small Red or White Potatoes
  • 1 large Onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Any Garlic/Onion Spice Blend you prefer (I used Dangold Gourmet Collection Garlic & Onion Spice Blend)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Beef Broth
  • 1 TBLS Corn Starch dissolved in cold water (about 3 TBLS)
  • 3/4 Cup Bold Red Wine (Like a dark blend or Zinfandel – tonight I used Gnarly Head Authentic Black)
  • 3 TBLS Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3-4 TBLS Prepared Horseradish
  1. Set the pressure cooker to the Brown setting.
  2. Add the Olive Oil and brown the Roast for about 5 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the meat to a large bowl.
  4. Add the onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the Beef Broth, Vanilla, Wine, Worcestershire Sauce, Tomatoes, and the dry seasonings to the pressure cooker pan and stir until the mixture starts to bubble.
  6. Add the Bay Leaf and Carrots to the pan.
  7. Return the Roast and all of the juices to the pan.
  8. Spread the Horseradish on the exposed side of the Roast.
  9. Close the pressure cooker, lock and set to the highest setting (248° on mine)
  10. Once the pressure cooker reaches the cooking temperature, cook for 1 hour.
  11. When cooking is complete unplug the pressure cooker and allow it to come back to normal pressure (about 10 minutes).
  12. Open the pressure cooker, remove the Roast, Carrots, Potatoes, and Bay leaves.
  13. Turn the pressure cooker back on to the Brown setting.
  14. Stir in the corn starch mixture until it begins to boil and thicken.
  15. Cut the Roast into chunks and serve in a bowl with the carrots and potatoes (smash them with a fork) covered in the gravy.  If you have some French bread to dip in the sauce, serve that too!

I potroast3didn’t have any potatoes on hand, so we ate ours with some steamed Brussels Sprouts and a can of Bush’s Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin’ Beans.  The roast came out tender, moist and flavorful and my husband really enjoyed sopping up the gravy/sauce with the chunks of French bread!

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