Skillet Chicken Parmesan

adapted from: Cook's Country and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise to make 6 thinner chicken cutlets

salt and pepper

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs

2 Tbl. vegetable oil

3/4 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

3/4 c. shredded Provolone cheese

hot spaghetti noodles for serving

In a medium bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese; set aside.  In a large 12-inch skillet, heat 1 1/2 Tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot.  Combine the flour and panko bread crumbs in a shallow dish.  Dry the chicken pieces with a paper towel.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.  Dredge the chicken in the flour/panko mixture, coating both sides.  Gently place 3-4 of the chicken pieces in the hot oil and cook for about 3 minutes and then flip and cook 3 minutes longer until a nice golden crust has formed on the chicken (they'll continue to cook in a later step).  Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Continue with the remaining pieces, removing them to the plate when they have been browned.  

Turn the heat down to medium.  Wipe the skillet of any burnt flour pieces.  Add the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon oil and saute the minced garlic for about 30 seconds.  Pour the reserved sauce into the skillet, taking care of splatters if the skillet is still piping hot.  cook a minute or two.  Then, gently nestle the pieces of  browned chicken into the sauce.  Cover the skillet and simmer the sauce and chicken on medium to medium-low for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the chicken isn't sticking to the bottom of the skillet.  If so, turn the heat down a bit.  Uncover the skillet, sprinkle the Mozzarella, Provolone and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the chicken and sauce.  Cover and cook for five more minutes or until cheese is nicely melted.  Serve over hot spaghetti noodles, if desired.  Garnish with crushed basil or fresh basil leaves.  Serves: 6

Jenn's Notes: I used one thick chicken breast and cut it into two cutlets.  I cut the sauce recipe in half.  I did not add the diced tomatoes, but I added a little extra crushed tomatoes instead.  If you prefer your chicken crispy, I would finish cooking it in the oven or even in the skillet and not add it to the sauce.  I liked it just the way it was, but I know some people prefer it crispy.