Weeknight Dinner: From Scratch Chicken Parmesan

Chef Shawn Calley's homemade chicken Parmesan made with homemade tomato sauce.(Photo: SHAWN CALLEY/for the FREE PRESS)

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This is a family favorite at my house. It is a great and easy dish for a weeknight dinner. The fresh mozzarella and the fresh tomato sauce puts it over the top. If you can’t get Roma tomatoes you can use the same method on any tomato. You can also use turkey or beef rather than chicken to switch things up.

Shawn Calley is the executive chef at the Burlington Country Club. His column, Local Flavor, appears weekly.

Chicken Parmesan with fresh tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

3 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

½ of a yellow onion diced

½ bunch fresh basil

½ cup red wine

2 teaspoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of nice olive oil

Chicken Parmesan

4 chicken breast

1 egg

1 cup flour

¼ cup Parmesan

2 cups panko bread crumb

1 teaspoon garlic powder

8 ounces of fresh mozzarella

To start the sauce, bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Cut a cross in the in the bottom of each of the Roma tomatoes (just deep enough to go through the skin). Next get a large bowl of ice water ready. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 40 seconds, remove the tomatoes and place in the ice water for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove a tomato from the ice water and with a paring knife remove the skin. Cut the tomato in half and scoop out the seeds, Next large dice the tomato and reserve for later. Repeat until all the tomatoes are done. In a sauce pot add the oil, garlic and onions. Cook for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent. Add the red wine a bring to simmer, add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Cook on medium high heat to boil then reduce heat to low for 20 minutes.

To make the chicken Parmesan: 

Place the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet or a frying pan to flatten the chicken. (we want to even the chicken out so it cooks nicely). In three dishes put the egg in one, the flour and garlic powder in one, and the panko and Parmesan in one. Start with dipping the chicken in the egg first then the flour. Put the chicken back into the egg and then into the panko crumbs. Use your hand to push down on the chicken to get the panko to coat the chicken evenly. Repeat until all the chicken is coated.

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Coat a cast iron skillet bottom with a layer of oil. Over medium high heat cook the chicken on each side for about three minutes until it is golden brown. Lay the chicken on a sheet pan and ladle a little tomato sauce on top of each piece of chicke,  then top with the fresh mozzarella. Place in oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking and melt the fresh mozzarella. Remove from oven and serve with your favorite pasta. Top with some fresh basil and Parmesan and enjoy. 

Source : http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/life/food/2016/11/17/weeknight-dinner-homemade-chicken-parmesan-recipe/94036426/

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