Southern Cookin' Makes You Good Lookin'

Random Rantings about Food and Such

Easy, Healthier Chicken Parmesan

on 11/04/2011

Some people are just plain brilliant.  Take Chef John who posted this recipe at http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2008/02/end-of-chicken-parmesan-as-you-know-it.html.  He said he loves Chicken Parmesan but  had been trying for years to come up with a way to make it without frying, hence cutting down on fat and calories.  Then one day it hit him…croutons!  We tried it tonight for supper and will tell you right now–the man is brilliant.  He’s right about what happens with the croutons.  With the way he placed the ingredients, the croutons are crispy and crunchy (and cheesy!) on top but moist and flavorful on bottom from soaking up the marinara sauce.  The only thing i will add to his recipe is this: 35 minutes was not enough cooking time.  Now if you use chicken tenderloins, that may work but for full fledged chicken breast, you need at least 45 minutes.  I even cut the breasts in half before cooking but the thickness of them dictates the amount of cooking time.  Also, with that length of time, it’s going to get pretty brown on top, so you may want to drape a piece of foil over it after the first 20 minutes or so.  One other thing: i used Rothbury Farms new Texas Toast Croutons–which were fabulous–but wish i had crushed them up some.  A few of the really big ones i had halved but wish i’d gone smaller than that, just to make it easier when serving and eating.  If you get a bag of those itty, bitty croutons, you should be good.

Well, the ol’ tummy has a happy and feels like breaking into a Dean Martin song.  Hey, Mambo!  Mambo Italiano!  Enjoy the Chicken Parmesan.  It’s Amore!

Easy, Healthier Chicken Parmesan

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
red pepper flakes, to taste
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (enough to fill a 9 x 13″ pan)
2 cups marinara sauce
1/4 cup chopped basil
8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
1 (5-oz) package garlic croutons

In a 9 x 13″ pan, sprinkle olive oil and add garlic and red pepper.

Layer chicken pieces on top of oil.  Pour marinara sauce over chicken.

Sprinkle basil over sauce.

Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over sauce.

Layer croutons on top of cheese.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over croutons.

Bake at 350 degrees for a minimum of 35 minutes (more likely 45 minutes to an hour.)

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