Recipe: Easy Chicken Parmesan
Summary: Great for a weeknight meal or impromptu entertaining!
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 cups chopped onions
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup coarsely grated peeled carrots
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes in juice
- 10 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from crustless French bread ground in processor)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (about) all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (or more) olive oil, divided
- 3 cups coarsely grated well-drained fresh water-packed mozzarella,* divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
BASIC TOMATO SAUCE
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and thyme; sauté until carrots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice; bring to boil, coarsely crushing tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to generous 5 cups, about 1 hour. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Rewarm sauce before using.
Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound chicken breasts to 1/3-inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Spread breadcrumbs on plate. Whisk eggs to blend in medium bowl. Spread flour on another plate. Coat both sides of chicken with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken to skillet and cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed (chicken will not be cooked through). Transfer chicken to platter. Spread 1 cup sauce over bottom of 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 1 layer of chicken over sauce. Spoon 2 cups sauce over. Sprinkle half of mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino over. Repeat with remaining chicken, sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan, and Pecorino. Bake until cheeses melt and chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and marjoram and serve.
*Available in 1/3 -ounce, 1-ounce, and 8-ounce balls at many supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Italian markets. Regular mozzarella can be substituted.
Number of servings (yield): 4
Recipe adapted from and Photo courtesy of: BonAppetit.com