Chicken parmesan can be a little bit blah, but using Smokey Tomato Sauce really steps up the flavor, offering a unique twist on an old classic. If you have the sauce already on hand, this comes together fairly easily and, when frozen, is a super easy weeknight meal. It both freezes well and heats quickly from frozen because of the thin pieces of chicken. Cover with foil and then plastic wrap before freezing, then remove plastic and start cooking at 375° covered in foil for about 20 minutes. Remove foil and finish at higher temperature or using the broiler until cheese is melted and golden. When re-heating, always be sure to cook your meat to 165°.
Ingredients for Smokey Chicken Parmesan
These ingredients are approximations for making four 8” x 8” pans (sometimes we substitute a 9” x 13” pan for two of the 8” x 8”s to feed more people). Bake and eat some, freeze the rest for a quick and easy dinner in the future.
- about 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- about 3 T. olive oil and 2 T. butter
- about 4 C. mozzarella cheese, grated
- fresh parmesan cheese
- about 3 C. Smokey Tomato Sauce
- about 1/2 C. flour
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 14 oz. spaghetti, cooked and tossed with a little olive oil
Using a sharp knife, filet each chicken breast in half. If you would like some smaller pieces, cut the fileted breasts down accordingly. One at a time, place the chicken breast pieces between plastic wrap and tenderize with a mallet to about 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness.
Heat about a T. of olive oil and about a half T. butter in a skillet. Place flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture, covering thoroughly, then cook in the skillet until golden. Transfer to sprayed glass baking dishes as pieces finish. Add additional olive oil and butter as needed as you add new pieces of chicken.
When all the chicken has been cooked, deglaze the pan with the Smokey Tomato Sauce, adding the fresh garlic to the sauce at this time, as well. Let the sauce simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until it has reduced and thickened.
Finely grate parmesan cheese over all of the cooked chicken breasts (see photo above), then carefully spoon sauce to cover each piece, but not overflow. Top each piece with mozzarella, more parmesan, then either freeze at this point, or bake in a 450° oven until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve with spaghetti and additional Smokey Tomato Sauce.
Another of my favorite dinners!