Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pinched Chicken Parmigiana

It is nearly impossible to order Chicken Parmigiana in a restaurant and not end up with a fried, cheese-covered nightmare. The name, which translates "from Parma" belies the dish's Southern Italian roots. Northern regions cook with more butter, cream and cheese than their southern countrymen, who favor tomatoes over dairy.

Anyway, last night I was armed with  a package of chicken breasts and an overwhelming desire to eat something I hadn't had in awhile. I don't think I've ever made it for my kids. Chicken Parmigiana is impossible not to love, especially when done this lighter way. Round it out with Steamed Artichokes and a nice big salad and everyone at your table will be very happy.

Chicken Parmigiana
Print recipe only here

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
Essential Tomato Sauce
2 T chopped fresh basil
four skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1 egg, beaten
heaping 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1-2 T canola oil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup mozzarella

METHOD
Preheat oven to 375

Prepare tomato sauce. Add 2 T chopped fresh basil (add it right after you add the pureed tomatoes to the pot).

Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan, cover with a piece of parchment or waxed paper and pound until thin.

Add 1 T canola oil to a cast iron skillet (or whatever you've got) and set over medium high heat.

Combine breadcrumbs, Parm, parsley, salt and pepper.

Set out a roasting dish and ladle some tomato sauce

Coat the chicken in the beaten egg, then dip into the breadcrumbs. Pan fry in the skillet until browned on both sides. Transfer to the roasting dish.

When all the breasts are browned, ladle a bit more tomato sauce on each one, then top with mozzarella.

Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is thoroughly melted and a bit browned.

Serve with extra sauce.

* Photo courtesy Divinia Pe

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