This delicious, hearty dish is a perfect meal for when you feel like putting in little effort, but still want to reap the rewards of a real crowd-pleasing dish. It doesn’t present particularly well (i.e. it is not overly picturesque), but you can certainly tell just by looking at it (and smelling) that it is going to taste absolutely fantastic. I think the parmigiana sauce is the real highlight of the meal; it is a good idea to make extra so that if you have it for leftovers then you can spoon more sauce on it and it won’t be too dry.
Collect (for the parmigiana sauce)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic, crushed
- 2 T tomato paste
- 2 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes in juice
- 1.5 c chicken stock
- 1 T dried oregano
- 1 t brown sugar
- 2 t balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to season
Collect (for the assembly)
- 1 c breadcrumbs (panko goes a treat, but not necessary)
- 2 T chopped thyme
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 c flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 T oil for frying
- mozzarella (and parmesan optional)
- fresh basil leaves to serve
- Turn the oven to 200°C bake. Line a roasting tray with baking paper.
- For the parmigiana sauce: heat the olive oil, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Once soft, add the garlic. Wait for about a minute before adding the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock and oregano. Simmer until reduced to a thick sauce. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar and season with the salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with the thyme.
- Remove the tenderloins from the chicken breast before placing each breast between two layers of baking paper and using a rolling pin to pound into an even thickness (or a mallet, but take care not to destroy the meat).
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, before dipping into the flour, egg and then breadcrumbs. Repeat with all of the chicken, including the tenderloins.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the chicken and cook each side until golden brown. Drain any excess oil on paper towels before transferring to the roasting tray.
- Spoon the parmigiana sauce generously onto the crumbed chicken, and cover with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Serve with the basil leaves.