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Cooking For Two: Super Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe Just Right For Two
Classic Chicken Parmesan Lightened Up
This is my own little version or tweak on the classic Italian dish but if you find that my version is too light, you can go back to the original and will add below what to do to get it back there. Really, except for leaving off the breading of the chicken, it is pretty much the same. We just like it sometimes without the breading.
I also serve mine sometimes on mashed potatoes as they do in parts of Italy - as opposed to pasta noodles. It is equally delicious served on mashed potatoes.
As in all things, find what tweaks are to your liking and create your own version of the classics. There is always room for a new recipe based on something tried and true.
Chicken Parmesan For Two
- 2 boneless halved chicken breasts (pounded thin - see below)
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato sauce (15 ounces)
- 1 package of fresh mushrooms sliced (8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup Marsala wine (or substitute chicken broth or sherry)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (or substitute water)
- Pasta noodles or mashed potatoes for 2
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (or substitute cooking spray)
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano (dried or use fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon basil (dried or use fresh)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on
- Provolone or other Italian cheese such as mozzarella or fontina cut in small strips (slice from block or purchase already sliced and cut in smaller pieces)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Rinse and pat dry 2 boned half chicken breasts. Place one at a time in a Ziploc storage bag and pound out thinner with a meat pounder/tenderizer. (This ensures more even cooking of the breast). Remove from bag and repeat with second chicken breast.
- Heat olive oil in wide skillet or liberally spray with cooking spray and add 2 pounded chicken breasts.
- Brown on 1 side and then flip over and brown on the other side. (Note - the chicken is not totally cooked at this point, just browned)
- Remove from pan and set aside. Clean pan and return to stove.
- Add mushrooms and add Marsala wine or substitute chicken broth. Gently cook the mushrooms until they soften a bit.
- Add the tomato paste and stir until smooth.
- Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth or water and stir until smooth.
- Add the herbs and salt and pepper.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until it reduces to the consistency of sauce.
- Spray an 8 x 8 inch baking pan or dish with cooking spray. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and pour the sauce over the top of chicken.
- Sprinkle on desired amount of Parmesan cheese - or grate over the chicken.
- Cut strips or put on provolone or other desired pieces of Italian cheese to desired amount. I just add a few pieces here and there and let it all meld together.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese melts into the sauce and chicken and chicken registers 165 degrees on thermometer.
- Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving over pasta noodles or mashed potatoes and sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese.
Variation For Breaded Chicken Portion
If you prefer the breaded variation of Chicken Parmesan - do the following:
- After pounding thin the chicken breasts, use 1/2 cup of panko crumbs or bread crumbs and coat both sides of chicken breast with this and then proceed on with the recipe
- Panko crumbs are lower in calories than bread crumbs and offer a different flavor
- You may need to add additional olive oil or vegetable spray to the skillet but brown on both sides and then proceed with the recipe as above.
- There are wheat versions of many pastas available which make excellent bases for Italian dishes
- Mashing red potatoes or Yukon golds are very conducive to leaving the skins on after thorough scrubbing so you get a more nutritious mashed potato
- Using skim milk or using a butter substitute decreases the calories in mashed potatoes (though I use skim milk and a sliver of real butter)
- Adding a tablespoon or so of sour cream to mashed potatoes keeps them from becoming too stiff
- Homegrown or fresh herbs totally enhance sauces - most notably Italian dishes. Experiment with fresh basil and oregano but add tarragon, rosemary and thyme for interesting combinations
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