Thursday, March 22, 2012

Healthier Chicken Parmesan

I'm used to a very traditional Chicken Parmesan; The chicken is always breaded, the sauce is always thick, and the cheese is always endless. So when I set out to make my own chicken Parmesan this week, that is exactly how I pictured making it.

Burt was less than thrilled.

You see, he's been training for a mixed martial arts fight for a few weeks now and everyday he comes home, the house smells of yummy food... food that he cannot eat. I suppose it is hard to cut weight when I'm constantly cooking and baking with butter and other semi-unhealthy ingredients...I don't mean to, really, I just don't want to skimp on the taste of something to cut a few calories out of the meal. But I'm turning over a new leaf and desperately trying to be more considerate about my new found cooking addiction. After all, there are plenty of good for you, good tasting meals out there, you just have to think outside the box.

And that's exactly what I did. Here's the recipe to a phenomenal chicken Parmesan that is healthier, easier, and arguably tastier than many other chicken parms out there.

Healthier Chicken Parmesan
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis's Chicken Parmesan

For the sauce:
  • 28 oz can whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 2 fresh on the vine tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs Herbs de Provence
  • I Tbs unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat a 4-quart stock pot with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, sugar, butter, Herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper and simmer covered on low heat until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Keep  warm.

For the chicken:
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut about 1/2 an inch thick
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • tomato sauce (recipe above)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the rosemary, garlic powder, Herbs de Provence, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to make a herb mixture for the chicken. Brush both sides of the chicken with the olive oil mixture.

Heat a cast iron skillet coated with olive oil (or other large oven-safe skillet) to medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook both sides until browned, about 3-5 minutes each.

Place the skillet in the oven and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the center.(note: omit this step if chicken cooks on stove, if not, lower oven temperature to 375 degrees and then cook an additional 15 minutes) When chicken is done, spoon the sauce onto each cutlet, add the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top, and cook until cheese is completely melted. Serve with spaghetti noodles.

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