Chicken Parmesan

Circle B Kitchen

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

olive oil, canola or avocado oil (my personal favorite for high heat cooking)

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (and more for serving)

2 eggs, beaten

Lots of your favorite marinara sauce (about 16 oz)

16 oz fresh mozzarella (two 8-oz balls), sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil

1 lb spaghetti

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Stir 1/4 cup kosher salt into the water. When it comes to a boil, stir your pasta into the water. Once the water comes back to the boil, lower the heat to medium hight and cook for at least one minute less than the package directions. Test for doneness two minutes before the package directions; it should be really al dente. Drain, but do not rinse. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in enough marinara sauce to just coat the noodles. Do not over-sauce the pasta. You can pass warm sauce at the table for those who would like more. Keep the pasta warm until ready to serve.

While your pasta water heats up, place your chicken (one at a time) between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. If the breasts seem overly large, you can cut them in half. Season each breast liberally with salt and pepper.

Place the flour in a bowl or pan. Mix the panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese and place in another bowl. Beat the eggs and place in a third bowl.

Dip each breast first in the flour (shaking off excess), then in the eggs and finally in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a wire rack as you finish dredging the remaining breasts.

Heat enough oil in a large skillet over medium high heat to cover the bottom by about an inch. When the oil is hot and begins to shimmer but not smoke, add 2 or 3 of the breasts to the oil (4 if your pan is large enough). Cook for about 3 minutes on each, side, lowering the heat if they seem to be browning too quickly. When done, return each breast to the wire rack.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Place the breasts on the foil and top each with 2 slices of fresh mozzarella (to cover the breast). Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to melt the mozzarella. It should bubble and start to turn golden in spots.

To serve, place the sauced spaghetti on a large serving platter (or individual plate). Top with the chicken breasts. Drizzle each breast with a little marinara and another sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese and a final drizzle of olive oil. Top with chopped fresh parsley or basil, if desired. Serve with extra sauce and grated parmesan cheese at the table.