When you’re looking for a quick dinner that contains nothing highly processed, look no further than that classic Italian fast food, chicken parmesan.
If I have the larger cans of tomato sauce on hand, I’ll make my own quickie sauce, if time permits. If not, I use a jar of ready-prepared pasta sauce, since I always have one of those in the pantry. I tend to use plain, marinara, or mushroom here, but use whatever you have or strikes your fancy.
|Quick, easy and REAL|
I also prefer to use slices of mozzarella cut from the solid lump you find in the dairy case. Somehow on this, the bagged and shredded variety doesn’t cut it. That’s just a personal preference, so if you have shredded on hand–by all means! Just don’t skimp on whatever you use. The biggest pleasure in this is a thick, creamy and delightfully stringy mound of melted mozzarella on top!
- 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup cream or half-and-half
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- Seasoned Bread Crumbs*:
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 tbs parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs onion, minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs pesto
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- *Italian-flavor bread crumbs (with cheese) may be substituted
- **1 jar (26 oz) of your favorite pasta sauce may be substituted for the sauce recipe (I often substitute it for speed sake, but will add pesto)
- Pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap with a mallet until breast is about ¼-inch thick. I never skip this step–because the chicken will cook evenly and not be underdone on the thick end nor overcooked at the thin end. It also tenderizes the chicken.
- Pour cream in a shallow bowl. Mix breadcrumb ingredients and place on a large plate.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1½ tbs of the olive oil. Dip chicken in cream, making sure it’s well coated then dredge in the breadcrumbs. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts.
- Brown chicken breasts, 2 at a time, in the heated skillet. Remove to a plate. Meanwhile, add the remaining 1½ tbs of olive oil and repeat browning on remaining chicken breasts. Set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet to remove any burnt-on breadcrumbs. Return pan to a medium heat. Add the 1 tbs of olive oil (in the sauce recipe) and saute the onion and garlic until tender.
- Add the tomato sauce and the remaining sauce ingredients and heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low, add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat broiler to high. Slice block of mozzarella into 8 slices. Place 2 slices of cheese on each chicken breast. Broil for approximately 5 minutes (about 6-inches from flame or heat element), or until cheese is melted, bubbly and begins to brown.
- Serve with any kind of pasta. Serves 4
|Classic Chicken Parmesan|
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