Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

I will always reserve a special place in my heart for these Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches. Partly because breaded and fried chicken thighs are involved, I’ve learned never to question fried chicken, but also because it was the first thing Julian ever cooked for me, on our third date. This was the only dish he knew how to cook at the time, which I believe he actually called his mom right before and asked her how to make it. You gotta give the man points for trying. And even though it looked like a tornado hit the kitchen, and I was fairly certain the night would end with us at the emergency room waiting for Julian to get stitches (thankfully it didn’t), it’s still one of my all time favorite sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. No joke. And that’s saying something because I love me a good sandwich every now and then, and as we all know there are so many options to choose from, so it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite. But how can you pass up breaded chicken topped with marinara and cheese and then sandwiched together between two pieces of crusty garlic-rubbed bread?! You can’t, you just can’t, and even if you did, I’d have serious doubts about our friendship. Then again, I would be able to eat your sandwich…so maybe I should rethink this. 

To this day, whenever it’s Julian’s turn to cook dinner, I’ll either get these sandwiches or a grilled steak with brussels sprouts and potatoes. I’m not complaining though because sometimes it’s too much of a hassle for me to fire up the grill, stand in front of hot burning charcoal all night with smoke blowing in my face. Thankfully the man can grill like no one’s business, and actually enjoys doing it. He has since learned how to cook a few more dishes, through the years, like tacos and homemade tortilla chips with guacamole or grilled salmon with rice and roasted asparagus. They’ve been added to the rotation, but honestly even if this sandwich continued to be the only thing he ever cooked for me, I’d be super happy because it’s a masterpiece of a dish. But it’s best not to tell Julian this. We don’t want it getting to his head.

Instead of keeping this recipe all to myself, though, like some selfish animal, I’ve decided I needed to spread the word. I told myself, “Self, everyone needs to try this sandwich. You’d be doing the world a disservice if you didn’t share it.” That happened, but also I figured we could all use a few more quick and easy recipes that can be whipped up in no time. Especially during those week days when we’re all exhausted from work and just want to get home as quickly as possible, make dinner and catch up on those shows we’ve let pile up. Let’s get with the program and make these happen as soon as possible. 

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Fried Chicken and Waffle Sandwiches

Before we can dive, mouth first, into this post we need to discuss one important topic. It’s more so answering a critical question, really. It happens to be the biggest question ever asked in the food world. The answer to which is the most vital piece of information that can ever be granted. You might be wondering what the question is. I’ll tell you that it’s a question I’m most often asked. Perhaps you’ve been asked it too. You’d be surprised how may people inquire about such a topic. Pancakes, waffles or french toast? My answer is always waffles. Waffles to the very end of my existence. Waffles for life. Waffles, always and forever. Waffles for the win. And not just because this happens to be a waffle post, no, but because crispy on the outside, moist on the inside waffles are to die for. Although not on pancake days. Tall stacks of warm flapjacks with butter and maple syrup, perhaps with a few chocolate chips thrown into the batter? Definitely pancakes. Pancakes to the very end of my existence. Pancakes for life. Pancakes, always and forever. Pancakes for the win. Yet french toast, however, is kind of the best thing on the planet, isn’t it? Challah or brioche french toast with a dusting of powdered sugar, perhaps even stuffed with cream cheese and berries? Most definitely french toast, hands down one hundred percent. French toast to the very end of my existence. French toast for life. French toast, always and forever. French toast for the win. Do you see my dilemma? I can never get anywhere with this.

Over the weekend I was housesitting/cat sitting for a friend. It was a nice get-away for me, as said friend lives by the beach. Now I know what you must be thinking, “But Jonathan, you hate the beach!” If you weren’t thinking it before, you’re thinking it now. And you’re right, I’m not a beach person—I’m not much of a sun person really—but I am a cooler weather person. So I’m all for houses by the beach and gloomy overcast days. I decided to get some work done—in between constantly taking pictures of her cat and getting on his nerves with hugs and kisses of course—while I was over there. I always think it’s fun to cook in someone else’s kitchen. You get thrown out of your comfort zone, out of your element. It’s sort of weird preparing for a post in a space I’m not familiar with, especially since my friend also bakes and cooks and shoots and writes. It’s like walking around in someone else’s shoes for a day, ones that take you a while to get used to. However, I did manage and I actually had a lot of fun shooting somewhere different. Somewhere that wasn’t my own house for a change. I’m sure Miller, my college studio lighting teacher would be oh so proud of me for that, so this post is for him for forcing me out of my comfort zone (it only took me a year to do it). In the end I love how the pictures turned out, but lets be honest, shooting with the cutest cat in the world, certainly helped. He’s a hoot, constantly sneaking up trying to get food, thinking he can’t be seen. Oh I can see you Jules Stevens, I can see you and you’re adorable. I guess when it comes to fried chicken and waffles none of us can keep away.

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