Chicken Parmigiana (Light)
This approach was stolen from Lidia Bastianich after I saw her do it on Create TV. To be fair, Lidia would rather be skinned with a potato peeler than use a packaged sauce like Newman’s Own that allow for here but it reduces cooking time and isn’t a had tasting sauce. If you have home made sauce please use it but if not I will forgive you. Forgive me Lidia:) I like this recipe because it is tasty, easy and not as heavy as some of the more traditional “parm” recipes out there. Like everything else we cook – fresh is best and high quality parts make nice meals.
1.5 – 2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1/2 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup-ish Panko Italian Seasoning bread crumbs
2 cage free (they taste better than the other kind) large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3-6 ripe plumb tomatoes, sliced thin
6-8 oz of fresh mozzarella or fontina cheese, thinly sliced.
1 Small jar of Newman’s own Toasted Garlic sauce Or better yet, your own quick and tasty home made sauce*.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper,diced
1/2 tsp Sweet Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano leaves
3 cloves of garlic minced*
6 nice ripe Roma tomatoes*
¼ cup fresh Basil leaves, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut off any fat, bone, and gristle remaining on the chicken thighs or breasts.
- Pound thighs or breasts between two pieces of plastic until they are roughly the same thickness.
- Spread the flour and bread crumbs on two separate plates. Beat the eggs in a wide shallow bowl until blended.
- Make a little production line – raw pounded chicken, flour to coat chicken lightly, beaten egg and then bread crumbs. At then end of the line, have a large skillet on medium-high heat with the vegetable oil to fry the chicken
- Dredge chicken in flour and tap off excess flour. Dip the floured pieces in the beaten egg letting the excess egg drip back into the bowl. Transfer the chicken, one piece at time, to the plate of bread crumbs, and turn it to coat with bread crumbs, patting gently and making sure that each thigh is well coated. Repeat until all the chicken has been cooked.
- Fry chicken, turning once, until the chicken is golden on both sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove it to a 9×12 baking dish lined with paper towels, and drain well. Add oil, as needed and keeping the frying chicken at the correct temperature.
- Remove paper towels from under chicken on the baking dish. Top each piece of chicken with overlapping slices of tomato, dividing the tomatoes evenly. If you like this dish more traditional, top the chicken with some tomato sauce as well (see below). Drape the sliced cheese over the tomatoes to cover the chicken completely.
- To make your own quick tomato sauce, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic, diced green pepper and onion stirring until onions are clear. Then add the Roma tomatoes chopped into chunks. Reduce heat to medium, stir and cook till the sauce is the consistency you like.
- OR instead of the tomatoes, add a jar Newman’s own sauce
- Stir in sweet basil and oregano. Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Allow chicken to bake until the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
I like to serve the chicken in a largish shallow bowl full of thin spaghetti, then spoon a couple of large spoonfuls of sauce over the top of the chicken and pasta. Garnish with shredded fresh basil.