Thursday, September 23, 2010

Simple Chicken Parmesan & Easy Tomato Sauce

My dear hubby, John, has been out of town for a couple of nights for work, and so upon his return tonight I wanted to make him his favorite dish of all time. Chicken Parmesan. Since he is watching calories too, I made a simple skillet version that isn't as caloric as the traditional method.

Simple Chicken Parmesan

1-2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp dried basil
3 tsp dried oregano
salt, pepper
olive oil
Mozzarella sliced thin, enough to cover chicken breasts
tomato sauce (I make my own, see below.)

With a very sharp knife, cut chicken breasts into 'scallopini.' Meaning, cut lengthwise across the chicken to make very thin pieces. I had a very huge chicken breast and was able to get 4 pieces! In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Dredge chicken very lightly through the flour. You don't need an egg wash or anything, the moisture from the chicken will be enough, this is a very light coating.

Lightly grease a large skillet with olive oil and get it hot. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet, do not crowd them. Do it in two batches if necessary. Do not try to move them once you set them down. If you are using a non-stick skillet it will feel like they have stuck. Do not panic. Wait a few minutes and gently nudge with your spatula. If you feel it start to give, flip them over. If they still feel stuck, give them a few more seconds. When the meat "releases" it should be browned and you can flip them. When you flip the chicken, cover the browned side with the thin mozzerella slices, lower the heat and cover. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. The chicken won't take too long since you cut it so thin to start with.

Serve with pasta and tomato sauce.

My Easy Tomato Sauce:
1 large can of whole tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
1 small onion
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

In a saucepan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, oregano and chili flakes. Let simmer covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and let simmer for 15-30 minutes longer. The longer you simmer the thicker the sauce will be. If using whole tomatoes, mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to blend the tomatoes smoother. Season with salt to taste.

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