This homestyle recipe is quite easy to make yet makes a strong presentation for a casual dinner party.
Do not skip the refrigeration step because it helps the crust adhere to the chicken.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup Italian-style fine breadcrumbs
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce or 1 cup marinara sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried whole basil, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried whole oregano, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Dip the chicken breasts in the milk, then shake off any excess.
- Dredge the chicken in the breadcrumbs.
- Place in a single layer on a large platter and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Spray a 9- by 13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with vegetable oil.
- Spread one-third of the tomato sauce over the bottom of the dish and set the rest aside for later use.
- Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Quickly brown each of the chicken breasts, turning only once. Use the second tablespoon of olive oil for the second batch.
- Arrange the browned chicken in the bottom of the casserole dish, overlapping as little as possible.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the chicken, then sprinkle with parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes if desired, salt and pepper.
- Top with the mozzarella cheese.
- Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is heated through and cheese is bubbly and slightly golden.
- Let the chicken mozzarella rest 5 minutes before serving.
If you do not have a glass or ceramic baking dish, use a 9- by 13-inch roasting pan lined with foil and increase the oven temperature to 400.
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