Sunday Dinners are an important part of our family. I love spending a quiet day in the kitchen trying my best to prepare a special meal that I wouldn't necessarily have time for on a weekday. I take pride in making all of the components by scratch and the process is made even sweeter by having my husband work side by side with me. That, along with some good music playing in the background makes for a perfect day.
Chicken Parmigiana is one of those meals that takes a little more time then I usually have. The meal itself is not a hard meal to cook but putting all of the different layers together certainly takes a bit of time. The meal has a fantastic tomato sauce that's spooned over breaded browned chicken which is then topped with Parmesan and Mozzarella and baked in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden. This is best served with some Spaghetti and a slice of warm, crusty bread.
For the sauce
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
Fresh basil, chiffonade cut
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
For the chicken
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Kosher Salt and Pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup dried plain bread crumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (8 ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh Basil, chiffonade cut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat a saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil gets hot, add the onions, garlic and bay leaves; cook and stir for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Add both of the vinegars and carefully add the tomatoes (crushed and sauce) along with the basil. Season with red pepper flakes, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the liquid is cooked down and the sauce is thick about 15 minutes. Lower the heat, cover and keep warm.
Put the flour in a large shallow bowl, season flour with salt and pepper, and mix to distribute. Put the two beaten eggs into another shallow bowl and lastly combine the bread crumbs, along with the Parmesan and chopped parsley in a third shallow bowl.
Dredge the chicken breasts one by one first in the flour, then dip them into the egg wash and finally into the bread crumb mixture making sure to coat them entirely.
Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a pan and when the oil is hot add the cutlets and fry for about 4 minutes on each side until they are golden brown and crusty.
Place the browned chicken into an oven proof dish and ladle the tomato sauce over the chicken. Arrange the mozzarella on top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Finish the dish with the rest of your basil and serve over spaghetti.