Chicken Parmesan

What You Need

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, hand torn
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup kalmata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) Italian-style peeled plum tomatoes with juices, cut up with scissors
Pinch sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, hand torn
1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, water drained
Freshly grated Parmesan

1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente

Here's How

Heat oil in large heavy saucepan. Add onion, garlic, and bay leaf and sauté over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the olives and some hand-torn basil. Carefully add the tomatoes, and cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat, cover, and keep warm.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Get the ingredients together for the chicken so you have a little assembly line. Put the flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. In a wide bowl, combine the eggs and water, beat until frothy. Put the bread crumbs on a plate, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. Lightly dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the bread crumbs. When the oil is nice and hot, add the cutlets and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once.

Remove the chicken to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Ladle the tomato-olive sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and the basil. Bake the Chicken Parmesan for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with spaghetti.

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