Baked Chicken Parmesan

February 6, 2012 § Leave a comment

J: Whenever we make pizza, there’s always some sauce leftover, and it’s always a struggle to use it up before it goes bad.  In the past, we’ve come up with various solutions — make it into pasta sauce, make more pizza (obviously), etc. — but this time we wanted to actually make something more meal-like instead of just thrown together.  So, I had the idea of re-purposing the sauce to make a chicken parmesan-type dish, only instead of frying the chicken, as is often done, we just baked it instead.  Simpler, less messy, and healthier!  This is a fantastic way to use up tomato sauce of any kind, and I’m pretty sure it’ll become one of our standards.  It honestly turned out much better than expected — I think we were both sort of expecting it to be a perfectly unobjectionable but unremarkable dish, and it was actually a knockout dinner.  Give it a try!

what a wholesome meal!

Baked Chicken Parmesan
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (you can use your preferred cut of chicken, of course)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
3/4-1 c tomato sauce (ours is the “Basic Marinara” sauce from this post, with a few tweaks — careful to halve the recipe, since as-is it makes 4 c of sauce!)
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and slightly smashed
6 (or more) crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Olive oil
3/4-1 c Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat your oven to 350.

If possible, use a mortar and pestle to grind together the salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.  If not, improvise!  And feel free to adjust the amounts of the spices and herbs to your own taste.

simple spice rub

Slice your chicken breast into roughly 6 pieces.  Rub the spices onto each piece, being sure to get each piece fully covered.  The rub shouldn’t be dense on the chicken, but it should be all-over.

Pour the tomato sauce into an oven-safe casserole dish (ours is approximately 9×9), and strategically distribute the garlic cloves (because who doesn’t want more garlic?).

saucy

Nestle the pieces of chicken into that sauce, and then evenly distribute the sliced mushrooms over the chicken-and-sauce concoction.  Drizzle some olive oil over the mushrooms, and top the whole thing with grated Parmesan cheese.

layers of tasty

Bake this casserole of awesome at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.  At that point, take it out and check by slicing into the chicken.  You’ll want it to be, at most, only very very slightly pink on the inside, and it should be fully opaque.  If it’s translucent at all, it’s not done yet!  And once it is done, it should be nice and tender, since it’s baking in liquid.

If you want to be super domestic, serve this up with a vegetable and a grain of some kind (see our picture at the start of this post!), and a nice bottle of white wine.  I seriously can’t wait until we make this again!

mooooaaar!

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