Like so many other recipes, I had chosen this one as an attempt to make something healthy. But, at the end of a long, difficult day, a recipe that was originally meant to be a baked chicken breast with some tomato sauce on top tends to morph a bit. You remember that you have breadcrumbs. Your husband has some leftover cheese from his week's lunches. You haven't been to Olive Garden in awhile. You realize that these things, in combination, sound way better than a tomato-y piece of chicken all by its lonesome. And really, doesn't your chicken deserve to have breadcrumbs and cheese?
Of course it does.
So, I give you: chicken parmesan! (And yes, there is actual chicken under that cheese...)
You will need the following:
2 eggs, beaten + 1 tablespoon of water
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
7 ounces seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup of flour
Salt and pepper
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces pasta sauce (or make your own--I used canned tomatoes, sauce, paste, and spices to create a more homemade taste)
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 tablespoons of shredded parmesan cheese
*Spaghetti, if serving
First, if you are making your own pasta sauce, prepare that an hour or more in advance. This will give the flavors time to meld before you begin your chicken. Next, mix your salt and pepper in with your flour in a shallow dish. Pour your beaten eggs with water into another shallow dish, and your breadcrumbs into yet another to create your chicken parm assembly line.
Then, one at a time, dip your chicken breasts into the flour, then into the egg wash, then finally, into the breadcrumbs. Your chicken is breaded and now ready for cooking!
*If you are serving spaghetti, this would be a good time to get your water on the stove for boiling.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Warm a large skillet over medium high heat and add your oil. Once oil is warmed, add your breaded chicken breasts and cook for approximately 4 minutes per side, until each side has turned a golden brown. Finally, place your oven-safe skillet with your chicken breasts into the oven to allow them to finish cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Top with cheese when there is about five minutes left for them to cook.
Serve with spaghetti, sprinkle with basil, and your healthy-turned-comfort food dinner is ready to serve. Enjoy!
[Note: recipe is a combination of the ingredients and techniques found here and here]