Guiltlessly Delicious Chicken Parmesan
I, instinctively, wanted to call this dish “Sinfully” delicious but that would just be wrong. It definitely tastes sinfully delicious but it’s pretty much guilt free! Guiltlessly delicious! (I know guiltlessly is not word…yet, I will be submitting it to Webster’s for consideration shortly.)
I love a good chicken parm but if you order it at a restaurant you’re going to have to split it into quarters and eat it over the course of four days…..OR share with three other people in order to keep the fat and calories in check. The problem with trying to lighten up the recipe is you either end up with soggy chicken, rubbery cheese or a chicken cutlet that is so slippery the sauce and cheese won’t stick to it.
By coating the chicken in panko bread crumbs and giving them a quick “fry” in some olive oil before finishing off in the oven, you create a crispy crust that grabs onto the sauce nicely without becoming soggy. Slicing the breasts in half lengthwise and pounding to an even thickness also keeps the cooking time to a minimum allowing the chicken to stay moist and juicy.
Be sure to use regular cheese, this is not the time to substitute with low-fat or fat-free cheese. Although…is there EVER a time to use low-fat or fat-free cheese….it’s not even real cheese! By using regular cheese, you’re not sacrificing flavor and, therefore, don’t need to use as much.
Let me say….it took several tries before I found the perfect combination of ingredients to make this taste close to the real deal. Skip the customary side of pasta and you can also keep your carbs to a minimum. I served it with a side of steamed broccoli and it went together rather nicely.
3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced in half
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups low sodium marinara sauce (or use my recipe from the stuffed shells)
1 cup italian blend shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat.
Pound each chicken cutlet between two sheets of plastic wrap until they are an even thickness. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, egg, and panko and place in the heated saute pan. Cook the cutlets until golden brown, about two minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining oil and cutlets.
Place the sautéed cutlets on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top with marinara sauce and cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
The leftovers keep well in an airtight container for a quick lunch the next day!