Thursday, November 3, 2011

A winner: chicken [parmesan] for dinner

I fried chicken for the first time ever. I did not start an oil fire. Hubby had 2.5 helpings. We have enough leftovers so I don't have to cook tonight.

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Chicken Parmesan
* the original recipe teaches you how to make a tomato sauce from scratch, but I decided to take the easy route and use jarred sauce (I like Ragu's Roasted Garlic sauce. I always add onions, more garlic, and wine. Lately, I've also added a bit more oregano and Italian seasoning to spice it up!)

4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total)
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 400°F. Working one at a time, place a chicken cutlet between two layers of wax paper (or plastic wrap). With a meat pounder, pound the chicken pieces to flatten them to an even thickness - between 1/4 - 1/2 inch. (If you don't have a meat pounder, you can use a rubber mallet, an empty wine bottle, or a heavy rolling pin.) Salt the chicken pieces well.

In a shallow bowl (large enough to dredge the cutlets), mix together the breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and pinch of salt. In separate shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs.

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. The oil should be shimmering, not smoking. Dredge the chicken pieces 1 piece at a time first in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumbs. Then lay the pieces in the hot sauté pan. Turn the heat to medium, then gently fry the cutlets until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Spread enough tomato sauce to thickly coat the bottom of 9x13 casserole pan or baking dish. Once the cutlets are browned on both sides, arrange them on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish. Place sauce over each of the cutlets. Sprinkle the tops with sliced basil. Then top the cutlets with slices of mozzarella and the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the mozzarella begins to brown.

Serves 4.

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