Quick Chicken Parmesan for Two

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Need:

  • 1 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can NO-SALT-ADDED crushed tomatoes (or 1 ½ cups from a 28-ounce can)
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley

 

Do:

  1. Cut chicken breast in half on the diagonal to make two roughly equal portions. Place between pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even ¼-inch thickness. Sprinkle the chicken with ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and ½ tablespoon oil in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour in crushed tomatoes; add Italian seasoning, salt and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juice to the pan. Turn to coat with the sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese over each piece of chicken, then top with the reserved breadcrumb mixture. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. (Watch carefully to prevent burning). Serve the chicken with the sauce, sprinkled with basil (or parsley).
  • Tip: To make your own dry breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about ⅓ cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian’s brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.

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