8.04.2011

A Leaner Chicken Parmesan

A Leaner Chicken Parmesan

Who doesn't love a good Chicken Parmesan?  Tender chicken cutlets are coated with a crispy breading and covered in a tomatoey marinara and ooey gooey cheesy goodness.  These days, many people are looking for healthier versions of their favorite dishes without losing any of the flavor that they love.  Have your Chicken Parm shed the breading and viola --  A Leaner Chicken Parmesan.

After making A Leaner Chicken Parmesan for my personal chef client today, I decided that it would be a dinner my family would enjoy.  And for the first time in about a month, our whole family was home at dinner time.  Besides the slap fight between My Middle One and No Thank You Boy, it was relatively calm around our kitchen island as we ate and discussed our day's events (My Oldest going to Zumba, No Thank You Boy's aching hamstrings from his first day of cross country practice, and My Middle One's major accomplishment of painting her nails purple).  After having first and seconds of the chicken parm, the kids begrudgingly cleared the dishes, emptied the trash and loaded the dishwasher, I packaged up the few extra pieces of chicken so there will be leftovers for the kids to reheat on the days I am working.

I have to say this recipe will be in our dinner rotation on a frequent basis.  And I don't think I will hear too many complaints.

A Leaner Chicken Parmesan

serves 4

adapted from this recipe

Grilled herb chicken breasts are covered in a simple marinara sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.  The final step of melting the cheese can be done on your outdoor grill so you will not need to heat up your oven on a warm summer day.

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole Italian plum tomatoes
6 large fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
8 (3 ounce each) thin chicken cutlets
8 slices fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb angel hair pasta, cooked, drained and kept warm (skip to make gluten free)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Saute for 6 - 8 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the tomatoes, crushing first in your hand and the basil leaves.  Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat.  In a small bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, rosemary, thyme and parsley.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brush both sides with the herb oil.  Grill for 2 - 3 minutes per side or until just cooked through.  Remove to a rimmed baking sheet. 

Spoon some of the marinara sauce over each cutlet and top with a mozzarella slice and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.  Bake in oven until the cheese melts.  Alternately, return chicken to the grill and cover.  Remove after a minute or 2 when the cheese has melted.  Serve on top of the pasta with the extra marinara sauce.

Note -- this dish can be made ahead until the step right before the chicken is put in the oven.  Cool the marinara and cheese topped chicken and package for the refrigerator.  When ready to serve, heat in oven for 10 - 15 minutes until cheese is melted and the chicken is heated through.

7 comments:

bellini said...

These hot summer months we are always looking for lighter fare!

teresa said...

oh gosh, i can't wait to make this, it looks incredible!

teresa said...

just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed this for dinner tonight! thanks for the great recipe!

Erica said...

It looks incredibly delicious!

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justine said...

This looks great! One question though... It looks like from the photo you served this with Kale rather then pasta???

EAT! said...

justine - I prepared this for one of my personal cheffing clients who is trying to not eat too much pasta. I subbed kale sauteed in olive with garlic and a few cherry tomatoes.

Celesta said...

This is gorgeous!