The following picture does not do what I just put into my mouth any justice whatsoever. Just know that going in:
I have an herb garden and it is rad.
Within this herb garden I have thyme, tarragon, sweet basil, rosemary, Greek oregano, sage, Italian oregano and Italian parsley. I also grow my own Roma tomatoes, broccoli, green beans and peppers. It makes me feel earthy. It makes me feel agriculturally superior. And that's because I am agriculturally superior.
Today with the basil and oregano I made a lovely sauce. My tomatoes are not in yet, so I used a can of plum tomatoes from Trader Joe's and they worked splendidly. I poured the thick sauce over breaded chicken breasts and baked, for the easiest and most fresh, most delicious Chicken Parm ever.
I mean, let's face it. Chicken Parmesan isn't the hardest dish to cook. It's actually damned easy. But when done right, it's good. And what helps make it "right"? Freshness. Herb-y freshness. And so I don't think I'm necessarily telling you to cook Chicken Parm so much as I am encouraging you to grow your own herb garden, because with fresh herbs you can make simple, rustic meals come alive. I served this one with garlic butter bread and it was stupid good. In fact I would smear the sauce all over my body and painstakingly lick it off if I wasn't wary of perhaps frightening my innocent child.
I'm that serious about it. My grade: A
Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan
4 chicken breasts, pounded flat
seasoned bread crumbs (I make mine fresh from a baguette, which I toast and then grind)
1/2 cup milk
Bufallo mozzarella in water, drained, sliced
vegetable oil for frying, about 1/2 cup
28 oz can whole, skinned plum tomatoes (or any tomato you prefre)
1.5 tsp Kosher salt
2.5 tsp sugar
1 tsp fresh Greek Oregano, minced
1 tsp fresh sweet basil, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pound breasts flat, about 1/2 inch in thickness. Whisk together egg and milk. Place breadcrumbs into bowl. Dip each breast into egg/milk mixture, then liberally coat with breadcrumbs. Fry in oil, 3 -4 minutes each side, until golden brown. When done, place into bake pan and layer two to three slices of buffalo mozarella atop each breast.
In food processor, add tomatoes, salt, sugar, herbs and garlic. Puree.
Pour tomato mixture over chicken layered with cheese. Atop this sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, according to your tastes. You may also layer more mozzarella, if you like.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, serve.
Time: 20 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking
Serves: 3 - 4