There are those dishes in life that win you favor with your loved ones. It is good to exploit them. This is one of my boyfriend’s favorite dishes and also carries major brownie points with his family. I hope it wins you the favor it so easily brings me.
1 (35 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (the kind with added puree)
10 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 pound chicken breast cutlets, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
olive oil to coat pan
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, sliced
3 tablespoons minced parsley
Preheat oven to 350. In a large saute pan with at least 2″ high sides, add crushed tomatoes, garlic, and basil leaves. Bring heat to medium and simmer mixture for 25-30 minutes. After 20 minutes, season mixture with salt and stir in red pepper flakes, oregano, and grated Parmesan. Cook until flavors have melded and basil has wilted. (option: discard basil and smashed garlic chunks for a smoother sauce: I decided to keep some of the basil leaves and garlic because I love the flavor).
Next, create 3 medium sized bowls filled with flour, bread crumbs, and egg whisked with 1 teaspoon of water in the third. Next season your thin chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and dredge one by one in flour. Then shake off excess flour, dip in egg wash, and finish in bread crumbs.
In another large saute pan filled to 1″ with olive oil, bring heat to high-(the chicken should sizzle when it touches the pan) and cook chicken in batches (about 2 minutes per side-until chicken is golden brown on the outside). Repeat till all chicken is golden brown and then discard excess oil. Season chicken once again with salt and pepper.
To assemble the baked chicken parm: add one cup of tomato sauce to a 9″x12″ casserole dish. Lay the breaded chicken cutlets in a single layer ontop of the sauce and cover with remaining sauce, spreading mixture evenly. Finish with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle chicken parm with minced parsley and serve warm.
This dish goes fantastic with a bottle of red wine or sangria.