This is an Italian-American dish. Which means, if you go to Italy, you will not find it. No restaurant will have it. However, plenty of “Italian” restaurants in the United States, most actually, will serve this dish. My aunt had an Italian Restaurant in New Mexico and that’s when I first ate it.
Interestingly enough, my mom used to make a similar dish, just without the sauce and the cheese on top and serve it with a salad. My husband loves it when I make it that way because he feels it’s really healthy.
I tried many different versions of this dish and I finally came up with this particular recipe and I really like it.
Ingredients for a family of 4:
4 Boneless & Skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup Flour (optional)
2 Eggs (optional)
1 cup Breadcrumbs (seasoned)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
2 Cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Preheat the oven at 400F & lightly oil a a large baking dish.
2. One at a time, place the chicken breasts in a plastic storage bags. Pound with a meat pounder or a rolling pin until the meat is very thin. Season the Chicken with salt and pepper.
3. Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the beaten eggs in another bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. To save on calories, you can just use the breadcrumbs bowl and skip the other two, I tried it once and they came out good anyway. Normally I just skip the flour step. One at a time, dip the chicken in the three bowls in that order and let them sit on a platter for 10 minutes to set the coating.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, add the chicken to the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Then transfer the chicken to the prepared baking dish.
5. Pour the tomato sauce around the chicken in the baking dish. Sprinkle the mozzarella & parmesean cheeses over the chicken and bake until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
6. I usually serve the chicken with spaghetti, but any kind of pasta or even potatoes is good as well!