Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

I love this recipe. I make it often enough that I keep any left over flour mixture and panko mixture on hand to make this a quick meal. Also, to save time you can substitute 2 cups of your favorite plain tomato sauce for the Simple Tomato Sauce but the tomato sauce is so good I would highly recommend making time for it. You could even make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it.

Lighter Chicken Parmesan

1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups tomato sauce , warmed (see recipe below)
3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

Simple Tomato Sauce

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes (*or crushed tomatoes)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.

2. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.

3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs, Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.

4. Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.

*I like to make a little spaghetti or angel hair pasta as a side and top it with the remaining tomato sauce. I used whole wheat thin spaghetti in the picture.

For Simple Tomato Sauce:
Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until mostly smooth, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. (*You could also just use a can of crushed tomatoes if you don't have a food processor). Cook the garlic, tomato paste, oil, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until needed.

Nutritional info per serving:
Cal 310; Fat 8 g; Sat fat 2.5 g; Chol 75 mg; Carb 20 g; Protein 38 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 790 mg

Recipe source: America's Test Kitchen

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