Chicken Parmesan is the perfect dish to lure kids into the kitchen. This dish is loaded with mini cooking lessons for the kids. With one simple recipe, you can teach children how to boil pasta, mince garlic, grate cheese, make tomato sauce, and pound, bread, and saute cutlets. This recipe makes twice the sauce needed, so freeze half for another meal.
You Will Need:
4 to 6 chicken breasts
2 cups Italian flavored bread crumbs
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
What to Do:
1. In a large saucepan, heat garlic and 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a simmer; simmer until sauce thickens a bit and flavors meld, 10 to 12 minutes. Cover and keep warm. This makes twice the amount of sauce you need, so put aside half for another meal.
2. Put chicken pieces between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound, using a cooking mallet, your fists, or a heavy pan, until the cutlets are about 1/4-inch thick.
3. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large soup kettle.
4. In a pie pan, beat egg until well-blended. In another pie pan, mix bread crumbs and more black pepper. Preheat broiler.
5. Working one cutlet at a time, dip both sides of each in beaten egg, then in bread crumbs. Put cutlets on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet (this step helps breading stay put). Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat in a 12-inch skillet. When oil starts to shimmer, add cutlets and saute until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes total.
5. As the cutlets saute, cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions.
6. Transfer cutlets to baking dish. Top each with a portion of sauce and the cheeses. Broil cutlets, 4 to 5 inches from heat source, until cheese melts and is spotty brown.
7. Drain pasta. Put a cutlet and a portion of pasta on each of 4 plates. Spoon more sauce over the pasta as desired. Serve with extra Parmesan.
Photo by Steph F