Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Deconstructed Chicken Parmesan

Chicken parmesan is one of our favorites.  We make it quite often.  Sometimes, it is a hassle.  I get 3 plates out... one for the flour, one for the egg, and one for the bread crumb mixture.  Then, I dip the chicken into the 3 plates, fry, bake, add cheese..... as you can see it takes a few steps, and there is a lot of clean up.  I decided to make a 'one-pot' chicken parm.  And, try to make it in a few less steps.  It turned out the be a huge success and T even told me that this was one of my better recipes.  It does not take long to complete, there are less steps, and it is much healthier than the traditional breaded version.

2 chicken breasts, pounded out
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup water + 1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh mozzarella, sliced


1. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half.

2. Add the cherry tomatoes to a skillet with olive oil.  Add the sugar and salt and pepper to your tasting.  Make sure to mix well so that all of the tomatoes are covered.

3.  When you begin to notice the tomatoes cooking down, smash them with the back of your spatula or whatever you happen to be using in the pan.

4. Add the minced garlic to the tomato mixture and mix well.

5. Add the water.  Let this mixture reduce for 5 minutes.

6.  Chop the fresh basil leaves.

7. Add the basil leaves to the tomato mixture and mix well.  Cook for another 20 minutes, allowing the water to reduce to about 2 tablespoons.  This tomato sauce will be chunky, not watery. When the sauce is done, pour it into a bowl.  The sauce will be used for later.

8.  After the tomato sauce is done, you can begin making the chicken.  You do not have to pound the chicken, but I find that it is easier to cook chicken all the way through when it is pounded out.  To pound the chicken, cover it with sarin wrap.  This prevents chicken flying everywhere, and helps for easy clean up.  

9.  Pound the chicken to your liking.

10.  Add the chicken to the same skillet that you used for the tomato sauce.  There is no need to clean it out.  I added salt and pepper on both sides.  I also added a few teaspoons of dried basil.  Can you tell that we love basil over here?

11.  While the chicken is cooking, slice the fresh mozzarella into semi-thin slices.

12.  Make sure to keep an eye on the chicken.  Flip it every few minutes so that both sides are evenly browned and cooked through.

13.  When the chicken is almost done, add the tomato sauce to the top.  Also, add the 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the pan.  Let the water reduce until there is only 1 tablespoon left.  Basically, you will not be able to see the water anymore.

It should look like this when the water has reduced.

14.  Add the fresh mozzarella to the top of the chicken.

15.  Put the chicken dish in the oven set on broil.  I left mine in for about 10 minutes.  However, the broiler is tricky and I suggest that you watch and check it constantly to make sure that the cheese does not burn.

I served the chicken with some pesto pasta and green beans! Enjoy!

Until next time...

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