Tag Archives: Tasty Kitchen

Chicken Parmesan

Bonjour, my friends!

As I was saying yesterday, this recipe hung out on the Tasty Kitchen sidebar for weeks and weeks, and by virtue of seeing it there every time I logged onto the site, it finally became a necessity to make. Like an itch I finally just had to scratch.

Does food photography every do that to you–tickle your imagination mercilessly? Force your hand, so to speak?

Anyway, it’s so good–and I highly recommend that you make your own tomato sauce to go with it. The sauce is such a central flavor to the dish that you really should have the best of the best. With just a light breading (no eggs and flour–just straight up crumbs and herbs), this is pretty darn healthy! Well, maybe except for the piles of melted cheese . . . but I wouldn’t give those up for anything!

If I ever became lactose intolerant, that would be a huge problem. Huge.

Knock on wood.

Anyway, the recipe serves 2, but it could so, so easily be doubled. Or tripled. Or zillionupled, if your baking dish is big enough.


(Serves 2)

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (halved)
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried thyme
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
2 TBS olive oil
2 cups good-quality (or homemade!) tomato sauce
2 TBS grated Parmesan
4 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Fresh basil, to garnish

See that lovely container of homemade tomato sauce lurking in the background? Oh man. How I love that stuff.

Preheat the oven to 500 F.

Also, I didn’t have dried basil . . . or at least I couldn’t find it. So I minced up some fresh stuff:

And I didn’t regret it for a single second. Or nanosecond. Or tetramegananonanonanosecond.

Mix the herbs, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs together in a shallow dish.

Oui, like dees.

Cut the chicken breast in half (with the knife running parallel to the cutting board) . . .

. . . and sprinkle all sides with a little salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the mozzarella.

And grate the Parmesan.

Now! Drag the chicken breast halves through the breadcrumb mixture, and gently shake off any excess.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized oven-proof skillet (I used my lil’ 8’’). When hot, add the chicken and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned.

Turn off the stove and take the skillet off the heat. Spoon the tomato sauce on and around the chicken.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over each chicken breast, and top each one with the thinly sliced mozzarella.

It’s looking good enough to eat now . . . but patience, my dear prudent one.

Cover the skillet with aluminum foil . . .

. . . and bake it for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5, until the cheese is melted and the chicken cooked through.

You can use this time to set the table.

Have I mentioned that I finally bought a table cloth? And that it took me 6 years of marriage and owning a battered hand-me-down table to realize that covering it with cloth would greatly improve its looks?

I need a decorator to come and tell me about all the mistakes I’m making now, before 6 more years go by and I realize that I’ve been living in folly, error, and general oblivion.

And here it comes . . .

Oh look! There are my feet!

Garnish with basil, and serve with pasta!

These little shells tossed with Parmesan, black pepper, some heavy cream, and some frozen peas were the perfect accompaniment.

And let me tell you another secret–the next day I tossed the leftover pasta with the leftover tomato sauce and it was almost a spiritual experience for me.

Will it disturb you if we move in close to check out that tender, tender chicken?

Mmmm, mmm, mmmmm.

And all that was left . . .

Click here for printer-friendly version: Chicken Parmesan

Simple Tomato Sauce

I love a good tomato sauce, but for some reason I rarely make my own. However, after being draw in to a tomatoey, cheese-y picture of Chicken Parmesan on Tasty Kitchen, I decided that for this decadent dish I really needed to make my own sauce.

So today the sauce, tomorrow the chicken! It’s a plan.

Adapted from this lovely recipe, this tomato sauce isn’t complicated, and packs so much more flavor than the jarred variety.  It’s delightfully thick (if that’s your thing), and so healthy! I used about 2 cups of it, and froze the rest in small bags for future use.

It just warms my heart to see the bags waiting in the freezer for the day when the spaghetti impulse hits me.


(Makes approx. 6 cups)

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 TBS butter, optional

Chop up the onion and mince the garlic.

Chop up the carrot and celery too.

Don’t worry about being precise since it will all get pureed in the end.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes, until it’s all soft and translucent.

Add the celery, carrot, some salt and pepper.

Cook for about 5 minutes, until the veggies are softened.

Add the tomatoes . . .

. . . basil, and bay leaves . . .

. . . and cover with a splatter screen.

Turn down the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour. This means it’s time to put your feet up and read a good novel while the delicious scents start swirling out of your kitchen.

After the hour is up, remove the bay leaves and taste for seasoning.

Add 1 TBS of butter at a time up the to the full 4 TBS, tasting in between, to round out the flavors.

Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it’s as smooth as you want it.

Allow the sauce to cool completely and, if you’re not using it immediately, pour it into freezer bags in 1-2 cup portions. It will keep frozen for about 6 months.

Isn’t it a thing of beauty?

I took my hints on how to best photograph this sauce from the creator of the original recipe, whose pictures are just gorgeous.

Thanks for the idea and inspiration, Sweet Pea Chef!

Though we’ll be making Chicken Parmesan with this good stuff tomorrow, you can use it for so many things: to spread on a pizza, to make spaghetti, Arroz a la Cubana, lasagna, etc. Conclusion: make some homemade tomato sauce!

Click here for printer-friendly version: Simple Tomato Sauce