January 26, 2012

Chicken Parmesan

Growing up, we always had certain foods on hand--staples, if you will, that were essential.  One of these was parmesan cheese.  Strange, you say?  Delicious, I say!  One of my favorite dishes to make with parmesan cheese is chicken parmesan.  It's a dish that I always seem to forget about, and then when I remember it, I wonder how I ever could have forgotten something so mouth-watering.

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Chicken Parmesan

1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
15 oz tomato sauce
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced

1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg, salt, and pepper.  Pour bread crumbs into a separate shallow container.  Dip each chicken breast first into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumbs to coat completely.  I usually put the bread crumbs in a bread bag (you can get them in grocery stores near the sandwich and ziploc bags), and then I put the egged chicken into the bag and shake it all around until it's all evenly coated.
2. Warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then brown the chicken, then pat with paper towels to remove excess oil.  If you need to keep them warm while you make the sauce in the next step, just cover them with foil on a plate and place in a warm oven.
3.  Drain any extra oil from the frying pan, then fill it with the tomato sauce, basil, and garlic powder.  Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.  Stir in the butter, and heat until it's melted.  Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, then top it with the parmesan cheese.  If you're running low on time, just open a jar of spaghetti sauce and substitute that instead. 
4.  Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, uncover it, and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake uncovered for 10 minutes more.  
5.  Buon appetito!

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