tl;dr version at the bottom
When it comes to #chicken I become very weird. I mean really weird. I've been to places that were reputed to have a Chef that specializes on chicken dishes and after the first bite I just let my plate aside. It's not like the Chef was bad, or the recipe was unsuccessful but there are some inner criteria that somehow got stuck in my head and I really can't get rid of. If the chicken taste is strong, accompanied by its chicken odor then I cannot proceed. My gag reflexes get enabled and the table becomes an awkward place to be. BUT, if the chicken has herbs and/or a second flavor (sauce/cheese/part of a burger) I can enjoy it. I can't explain it more than that. If you can't understand that, you are totally on the correct side of things and I am on the wrong. So if you happen to be somehow like me, get ready to meet a recipe that will save your appetite. If you are not, then... Hey... another chicken recipe! Enjoy!
Recipe Historian (not even close)
The origins of this recipe are Italian. Obviously the Illuminati and the Government will want you to believe otherwise but you shouldn't listen to them. Just me. There are blogs that are trying to persuade that this recipe was born in America, which isn't wrong but it was from Italians that had moved and lived there. There is also a group that believes that it started from Australia but really, if you see the ingredients used and you have a bit of common sense, you will soon understand that the way the recipe is formed is like pizza but on chicken. So back off World, this one has a home and it's Italy. Now that we are clear on that, I will only add that this dish was first introduced as melanzane #parmigiana (or Mellenzane alla Parmigiana) which was the same recipe but instead of chicken they used eggplant. More details are not of importance so let's skip to the recipe!
Best way to start this recipe is by making the sauce first. If you search a bit you will find a lot of variations of the sauce but I will personally stick to ingredients that shout the name of Italy, such as onions, garlic, basil, olive oil and tomatoes. By digging into American versions you will see a lot of extras but we aren't making Chicken alla Americana. Let's stick to Parmigiana today!
So, in a skillet add #olive #oil in medium heat and from the beginning add diced #onion and #garlic slices. In 4-5 minutes they will get soft but be careful not to let them get golden-brown. If that's the case just lower the heat more. Open a can of #tomato juice with tomato pieces (probably about 400 gr) , and add a little more tomato juice (100 ml) and let it to come to a boil. You don't need to raise the heat. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce in volume and withdraw the skillet from the heat. Add one tablespoon #dried #basil, one teaspoon of dried #oregano, salt, pepper. Take the same amount of tablespoons of sauce as the pieces of chicken, in a bowl. So if you have 4 breasts of chicken, take 4 tablespoons and add them into the bowl. Into the rest of the sauce (inside the skillet) add a handful of Parmesan and give it a couple of good stirs.
For the sole reason that I dislike frying things, we will replace this step with baking in the oven. You will lose exactly 0.0786% of flavor but you will get to live another day. Preheat the oven on 170 Celsius or check here and let's get ready to play with the breasts. Chicken breasts, ok? Get over it.
Take a whole breast and cut it in half, so you have two halves.
Then with a knife cut it in half again to form a heart, or a butterfly just like the photo below.
If you see anything other than chicken cut in half, forming a very crude heart shape then the internet have totally destroyed you (and you are not alone!).
With the help of a cooking membrane flatten the chicken. First cover it with the membrane, top and botton and with the aid of a wooden hammer or a flattening utensil slightly hit the breast so it gets flattened and soft.
Here is a trick to do this right. First always hit by pointing outwards and second you need to find the correct strength for that hit. Don't do it as you would do it on your ex that dumped you, but as the ex that was a good person but they were too good for you. Don't do it as you would do it on your ever-harassing boss, but as the boss was asking silly things mainly because the boss was stupid. Don't do it as you wasted half of your life watching Game of Thrones only to have it end in a hurry and with a very bad/rushed plot, but do it as you watched a series with 1/10 of the aforementioned show budget and they actually managed to pull it of nicely, such as Dark (Review incoming!) I hope I managed to visualize to you the strength needed and you don't end up destroying the chicken.
After that, everything is simple. On every piece pour some flour on both sides. Then drip the chicken in beaten egg and pour breadcrumbs on both sides as well. Finally take a baking pan and layer it with a piece of heatproof paper roll. On the paper, coat with a tablespoon of sauce on the spots that the chicken breasts will lay. This will help the chicken absorb moisture (and flavor) while the liquids evaporate, making the chicken more juicy. Yes that's a tip.
Put the baking pan inside the oven for 30 minutes. Flip them for 10 more minutes and add some sauce to cover them. At the same time pour grated mozzarella and parmesan so the top is covered with cheese. If you want to impress everyone with your skills and your fake Italian heritage and you want the cheese to have some color, put the pan high inside your oven and light the grill. Remove it when you see the right color for you!
First off be a normal person, unlike me, and add fresh basil leaves AFTER the cheese settles down on temperature. I did it right away and the leaves got brown. Except of that, you can serve it next to delicious mashed potatoes, or pasta. If your direction is pasta then put the selected cooked pasta inside the leftover sauce and blend it. If you go for mashed potatoes then pour the sauce in a cool looking container and let your guests dive their spoonfuls of mashed potatoes in the sauce.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes | Serves:4
One chicken breast (no bones)
1 egg (beaten)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
canned tomatoes (pieces) with their juice (about 400 gr)
canned tomato juice (100 ml)
2 garlic cloves (slices)
1 diced onion
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
100 gr grated mozzarella
200 gr grated Parmesan (Regiano)
Fresh basil leaves
For the sauce
In a skillet on medium heat, add diced onions and sliced garlic for 4-5 minutes until soft.
Add canned tomatoes and tomato juice. Simmer until reduced (about 10 minutes)
Add salt pepper, dried oregano and dried basil.
Keep for each chicken breast, one tablesppon of the sauce in another bowl.
Add a handfull of parmesan in the skillet with the rest of the sauce and stir
For the chicken breasts
Preheat oven at 170 Celsius.
Cut in half the whole breast and then in butterfly shape (or heart) each chicken half.
Pour flour on both side of each piece.
Beat an egg in a bowl and put the chicken breast inside to be covered. Pull it out and pour breadcrumbs in both sides as well to cover it.
On a baking pan add a layer of baking sheet. Spread a tablespoon of sauce (from the bowl) on each spot that the chicken will step on.
Bake it for 30 minutes. Flip them for 10 more minutes and spread a layed of sauce (from the skillet), mozzarella and parmesan so it covers the surface.
Withdraw the baking pan and let it cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve with either mashed potatoes or pasta.