Lighter Chicken Parmesan
- Tomato Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- salt and ground black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon water
- Vegetable cooking spray
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced horizontally into 6 cutlets
- 2 cups quick tomato sauce, warmed (see below)
- 3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
- 1 quart tomato puree
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon basil
Adapted from barbarabakes.com
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan and Italian seasoning.
In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs, Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.
Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.
To make the tomato sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add puree, paste, red pepper flakes, and salt and heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Cover and set aside until needed.