Chicken Parmesean in Basil-Tomato Sauce

Chicken Parmesean….the name is so simple that it cannot begin to describe the depth of flavor found in this Italian/American classic. While most use a marinara sauce in this dish, I chose to go with the herby roasted red pepper thing. Which was amazing, by the way. There are several variations of breading that you can choose from when making the Chicken Parmesean. Health nuts choose to simply dredge the chicken in flour and “fry it dry”, as I like to say. The Health Conscious choose to coat the chicken in egg and flour, this approach leaves scope for the imagination, while still remaining healthy. However, I am not either of those people. I am a southern girl, and southern girls cover their chicken in a THICK, DELICIOUS BREADING. This involves breadcrumbs, flour, and eggs. Yes, I said egg(s). Two to four is usually good (four! four!). Ever since our flock of chickens started laying ten to twelve eggs a day, we’ve been frantically inventing every possible way to use up excess eggs. But hey, you won’t hear me complaining about more breading! If I ever stop liking bread, you’ll know that it’s curtains for The Chef. Where was I? Oh yes, Chicken Parmesean.

Chicken Parmesean: 2-4 chicken breasts, 1 3/4 to 2 cups breadcrumbs, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. garlic & pepper seasoning, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, vegetable oil.

Slice the chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Whisk together the flour, breadcrumbs, and spices in a medium bowl. Coat the chicken first in the egg, then in the dry mixture. If you want a thick breading, do this process twice for each piece of chicken. Heat up an inch of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. When the oil is hot, fry the chicken for about five minutes per side. When all the chicken is cooked, set it aside (I promise that the cheese has not been forgotten, it’s just not time for it yet).

Basil Tomato Sauce: 1 jar Kroger Roasted Red Pepper pasta sauce, 2 tbsp. chopped basil leaves, 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1/2 tsp. dried chives, 1/2 tsp. garlic & pepper seasoning, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tbsp. chiffonaded basil leaves (for garnish).

Drain the grease from the saucepan that you cooked the chicken in. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the drained pan. Stir well and bring to a simmer. When the sauce is simmering, add the chicken back into the pan, add a generous amount of Parmesan cheese atop each piece. Do not submerge the chicken in the sauce. Let the cheese melt before serving. When the cheese has melted,  garnish with the chiffonaded basil leaves and serve.




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