Healthier Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Parmesan is truly a classic dish. It is one of my favorites! In this recipe, I lightened it up a bit. Many recipes for chicken parmesan involve heavy breading and frying in a lot of oil. This version is very lightly dusted with Italian bread crumbs and browned in a little olive oil and finished in the oven on a pre-heated cast-iron skillet. It is topped with a homemade marinara and a little fresh parmesan and mozarella. It is just so fresh and tasty. You can use a jar of marinara that you buy at the store, but this recipe for marinara is just perfect and so easy. This truly is a backyard-to-table recipe if you grow tomatoes and basil. so tangy and light...you will make this again and again!
Also, it is not pictured here, but I served this on zucchini noodles instead of pasta. If you didn't see my recipe for zucchini noodles, I will share that with you here again. Let me just say that zucchini noodles have really changed my life....ok well maybe not a life-changer, but it has been awesome to be able to create pasta dishes without the starch and carbs of regular pasta. I use a spiralizer to create noodles from a zucchini. A spiralizer is such a neat little kitchen gadget! You can pick one up about anywhere that sells kitchen tools, and they are pretty cheap. It is amazing how easy it is to use and you get perfect "noodles" every time in just a few seconds!
All you do is place the zucchini on it and turn the handle....voila! Zucchini noodles! I don't serve them raw however. I saute them quickly in just a little olive oil and a little salt. After just a few tosses, it is ready. I tilt the saute pan and drain off the liquid that cooks from the zucchini. You can sprinkle and toss with a little grated parmesan too. Now you have awesome, delicious healthy "pasta" that will satisfy your pasta needs without all the stuff you don't want.
Here is an action shot. I could go on and on how much I love my spiralizer, but I will move on to the recipe. First,I will share the marinara recipe. You can use fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced with the juice, or you can use canned tomatoes that are petite diced.
Make the marinara up ahead, as it needs to simmer about an hour total. If you have an abundance of tomatoes,go ahead and make alot of this and can it for later! You will love the taste of this sauce!
1 quart tomatoes,small dice, with juice
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup packed, basil leaves (fresh)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
salt to taste
Toast the garlic in the olive oil till golden brown. Add all the other ingredients except the basil and cook uncovered on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, about 45 minutes. Add the basil leaves, torn, and cook an additional 10-15 minutes.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten in shallow bowl
1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices of fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 tsp salt
fresh basil leaves to garnish
Preheat oven to 400. Trim the chicken breasts and cover with plastic wrap and pound to thin them. Dampen each chicken breast in the egg. Mix the bread crumbs , parmesan , and salt in another bowl. Lightly pat each chicken breasts into the bread crumb mixture. Have a cast-iron skillet heating on high on the stove with the olive oil in it. Place each breast in the hot oil. Make sure the oil is good and hot, but not smoking. Let it brown on first side for about two minutes. Turn and brown on the other side for about one minute. I remove the chicken and carefully wipe out excess oil from skillet and place chicken back into the skillet. Place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Spoon some marinara on each piece of chicken and top each one with a slice of the fresh mozzarella. place back in the oven and cook until the cheese starts to brown.. Remove and garnish each piece with cut up basil leaves. I cut it in a chiffonade. You simple roll the leaves up and then very thinly slice it.
I served each chicken breast on a bed of the heated zucchini noodles and with a little more marinara sauce. Yum!! Enjoy this fresh and delicious classic dish served a little lighter!