This morning I went to see if Nicholas was awake yet, and as I peeked into his room, he cracked open one eye, smiled and asked me what was for dinner. Yup, that’s my kid alright. Forget breakfast and lunch, we’re heading straight for dinner. I hadn’t planned out anything yet, so asked him what he wanted.
“Chicken Parmesan,” he said, without hesitation.
“Really? You want Chicken Parmesan? But you’ve never had it before.”
“I know, but one of my friends at school talks about it all the time. What is it?”
“Chicken with tomato sauce and cheese. Do you want to try that tonight?”
And so a plan was born. Now we just need a good recipe for it. When I think of Italian cooks, Giada De Laurentiis is one of many that comes to mind, so I headed straight for her cookbooks to see what versions she had. In her Everyday Italian book, she had a healthier version of Chicken Parmesan that could not have been simpler to make. I mean, homemade Chicken Parmesan on the table in about 20 minutes? What more could you want, right? Nicholas had a playdate with friends from school today, so a quick-to-table recipe was perfect for tonight’s plan.
Midway through the recipe, Nicholas wanders into the kitchen and asks what I’m making for dinner. Hello? For someone who had an amazing memory, he very quickly forgot his earlier request.
“Yuck. I don’t want that. I want a ham sandwich.”
“Well, you asked for it this morning, and I know you like everything in it, so we’re going to try it.”
He made a face and went stomping out of the kitchen; but moms of boys know how quickly they forgive and forget. Minutes later, he was at the table, bravely taking his first bite.
“Mama, this is yum!”
Folks, my work here is done.
If you have a hankering for Chicken Parmesan, this is a great recipe to try. She doesn’t bread the chicken, as most recipes would call for, so it’s healthier, without giving up any of the traditional flavors in the dish. And hey, it’s on the table in no time flat, giving you the perfect choice for weeknights and weekends alike. Enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 chicken cutlets (about 3 ounces each)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup shredded mozzrella cheese
8 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Preheat the oven to 500. In a small bowl, stir the oil and herbs to blend. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over a high flame. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 1 minute per side. Remove from heat. Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of Parmesan over each. Dot the tops with the butter pieces and bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.