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Chicken Parmesan a quick saute meal

Thursday, May 30, 2002

By Suzanne Martinson, Food Editor, Post-Gazette

When it comes to Mary Burton's Countdown recipes, the third one, Chicken Parmesan, was also a charm.


Since her last winning recipe, the Mt. Lebanon woman had retired as a Methodist pastor, and the day we talked was awaiting a visit from all three children over Mother's Day. Bill and wife Susan came from Vancouver, Wash., and it was Mary's chance to meet her 1-year-old grandchild, Molly Lilang, recently adopted from China.

She joins a brother, Ian Andrew, 11, and for now Susan is a stay-at-home mom, enjoying a respite from her job as an attorney. Husband Bill is a sales manager for a motor company.

Mary's daughter, Dr. Nancy Burton, is a homeopathic physician in Cannon Beach, Ore. Then there's daughter Susan Jane Burton, who Mary "in friendly jest" calls Bill's wife "Sue B Two." Her daughter Sue (the first?) is a marketing manager with Hewlett-Packard Co. Though she's based in Denver, she travels all over the world.

Since her retirement, Mary has been at home with husband John, who has suffered a stroke.

Occasionally, she substitute- preaches for somebody.

Mary's previous winners were Seafood Parmesan and Beef Stroganoff, which she had adapted for people, like herself, who are lactose-intolerant. (Leave off the cheese if you are.) This one was simple, but delicious.

Chicken Parmesan

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
8 ounces angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 cups Ragu chunky garden-style sauce or your favorite meatless sauce
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

If chicken breasts are thick, flatten slightly with meat hammer. Saute in 1 tablespoon oil for 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Cook pasta in boiling salted water, according to package directions. Crush or mince garlic into remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When chicken is done, add spaghetti sauce and simmer until sauce is hot. Drain pasta, toss with oil and garlic.

Make nest of pasta on each of 4 plates. Top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

-- Tested by Bob Martinson

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