Chicken Parmesan (Giada De Laurentiis)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Eight 3-ounce chicken cutlets
  • 1 1/2 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or purchased marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 16 teaspoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Simple Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two 32-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  1. Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil. Heat a large heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  1. Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the Parmesan over each. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

  1. In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove the bay leaves and check for seasoning. If the sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
  1. Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with the remaining tomato sauce.
  1. If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Source:  Giada De Laurentiis. Food Network

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