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Chicken Parmesan

By Catherine Newman

Makes: 4 – 6 servings

Total carbohydrates: 7 – 10 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 30 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Full disclosure: mostly I don’t bother coating the chicken. I just salt and garlic powder it, then sauté it in olive oil over medium-high heat until it’s well browned on both sides before saucing, cheesing, and broiling. It is absolutely delicious that way. But if people in your family – or you yourself – will be disappointed to find bare chicken beneath the cheese and sauce, then go ahead and coat away. Yes, it’s kind of fussy kind of messy, and a little imperfect, but it’s not actually that hard, and you’re still only using one pan. This is a serious crowd favorite, so if you are feeding teenagers, consider doubling the recipe.

Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 cup almond flour

1 ½ cups shredded parmesan

1 package skinless, boneless chicken breasts (around 1 ½ pounds), trimmed of extra fat

Salt

Garlic powder

Olive oil

2 cups no-sugar-added marinara sauce (if it’s not nice and thick, stir in a tablespoon or 2 of tomato paste while you simmer it over low heat for a minute or two)

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Instructions

1. Crack the eggs into a wide shallow dish and beat them with a fork. In another wide, shallow dish, stir together the almond flour and shredded parmesan.

2. Cut each chicken breast in half to make thinner cutlets: lay it on a cutting board, place your non-cutting hand flat on top of it, and cut it carefully across the middle, with the knife blade parallel to the cutting board. Season both sides of the cutlets with salt and garlic powder.

3. Dip each cutlet first in the beaten egg, letting the extra drip off, and then into the cheese mixture to coat. Lay them back on the cutting board as they’re coated. This is a very messy process, and it will work best if you wash and dry your hands between each piece of chicken, even if that seems totally bizarre and excessive. It’s also completely fine if the coating is not perfect.

4. Heat a large, oven-safe pan over medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. (If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you can transfer the chicken to a casserole dish or baking sheet after frying.) Lay the chicken pieces in the hot pan and leave them COMPLETELY ALONE for 3 or 4 minutes before peeking underneath one piece to check if the coating is browned. If you fuss with them before the coating melts and sets, it will be inclined to flake off, but if this happens, just don’t worry about it. Eventually the chicken will be sauced and cheesed, and all imperfection will be rendered invisible to the naked eye! Carefully flip the chicken and cook for another few minutes on the other side, until it looks browned and crisped when you peek under. Leave the chicken in the pan.

5. Heat your oven’s broiler. Spoon the sauce evenly over the cutlets, then top with the cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown, around 3 or 4 minutes.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]

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