Gwinnett teacher cooks up tasty lessons for students

What comes with a winning lottery ticket to Debbie Grant’s class?

The chance to bake a chocolate ganache — and eating it too.

Grant, who helped launched the culinary arts program at Gwinnett County’s Maxwell High School and has led it since 2011, recently won two honors for her supreme skills. The Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and the Greater Atlanta Chefs Association named her its teacher of the year.

Grant’s class is so popular among students that a lottery is necessary to get into it.

Students learn everything from kitchen sanitation to how to make sauces to baking classroom favorites, such as fruit tart.

“I’m always seeing and trying new things,” Grant said, explaining her cooking style.

One such dish is chicken milano, which has become a family favorite. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked her how she does it. She offered us a recipe.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4


- 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to even thickness

- half-cup of flour

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 2 cloves of minced garlic

- 1 cup of chicken broth

- half-cup of sun-dried tomatoes

- 1 cup of heavy cream

- 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh basil

- 8 ounces of dry fettuccini pasta or orzo

- salt, pepper and smoked paprika


1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Dredge chicken breasts in flour. Melt butter and oilve oil together in skillet and cook chicken breasts on medium to medium-high heat until cooked through. That should take about 5 minutes per side.

2. Remove chicken from skillet and transfer to a board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

3. Add garlic to skillet and cook briefly. Do not brown. Add chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil. Add sundried tomatoes, reduce heat and cook approximately 10 minutes until tender. Add cream and simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4. Slice each chicken breast on the diagonal into 3 pieces. Add to sauce. Heat through. Add basil. Adjust seasonings to taste.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccini and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, transfer to a bowl and toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sauce.