Chicken Parmesan

Classic Chicken Parmesan
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1″ thick)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tablespoon water
1 cup dried bread crumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz mozzarella, grated
Parmesan, grated
1 pound spaghetti or fettuccine pasta, cooked al dente

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook onions, garlic, and bay leaves for 5 minutes until translucent
2. Add olives, basil and tomatoes and cook until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is thick (about 15 minutes, or simmer for up to an hour for a thicker, richer sauce)
3. Add sugar, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, cover, and keep warm
4. Butterfly the chicken breasts so they are about 1/2-inch thick, and prepare a three-step breading station:
5. Place the flour on a clean dinner plate and season generously with paprika and salt and pepper, to taste; set aside
6. In a bowl large enough to hold one of the chicken breasts, combine the eggs and water, and beat until frothy; set aside
7. Place the bread crumbs on another dinner plate, season with salt and pepper; set aside
8. Using a pair of tongs, dredge both sides of the chicken breasts in the seasoned flour, and shake off the excess
9. Dip the breast in the egg wash to coat both sides completely, letting the excess drip off
10. Dredge in the bread crumbs and gently shake off excess and place on cooling rack for 5 minutes to let the crust set
11. Meanwhile, Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
12. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame in an oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the 4 breasts
13. Add the cutlets to the hot skillet and fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden and crusty, turning once
14. Add the tomato sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil, and place in the oven
15. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
16. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta; drain, and plate
17. Place the chicken parmesan on top the pasta and top with additional tomato sauce

Lea Mixing DumplingsThis is such a delicious dish! It’s no wonder it is a classic! It has mouth-watering eye appeal, and always delivers on flavor! I like to develop my sauce over a longer period of time, reducing it to a chunky sauce with deep flavors, but it is also good with only a quick cook and a gravy texture. This is a great recipe for those days when you just want to stay inside and putter around in the kitchen.