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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Light Chicken Parmesan - a healthy twist on an Italian classic.

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 slices whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg white
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 to 6 ounces each)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)

  1. Make Sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender (about 8 minutes).  Add garlic, pepper flakes, and Italian herb seasoning.  Cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Uncover and reduce heat to medium low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavors combine (about 30 minutes). 
  3. Add vinegar and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside until slightly cooled.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor, puree sauce until smooth. 
  5. Make Chicken: Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in upper third.  Line rimmed baking sheet with foil and set aside.
  6. In a food processor, combine bread, Parmesan, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pulse until mixture becomes coarse crumbs; transfer to a shallow bowl.
  7. Place flour in a separate shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Place egg white in a third shallow bowl, and beat with fork until frothy.
  8. Dip top side of chicken breast in flour, shaking off excess.  Dip same side in egg white, letting excess drip off.  Then dip in breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere.  Place on prepared baking sheet, breaded side up (Note: you only bread one side).  Repeat with remaining chicken.  
  9. Bake until breadcrumbs are browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella.  Continue baking until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted and slightly browned, about 2 to 4 minutes.
  10. Serve chicken with a generous amount of sauce.

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