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December 8th, 2008

Maybe it doesn't look like Fall, but it's here – in some places at least. Looking for some oven meals. How about crock-pot specials? Please send to:

Chicken Parmesan – Serves 4
From the kitchen of Joseph E. Valencic, Mentor, Ohio


    1-1/2# Boneless/skinless chicken breast


    2 Eggs beaten with wisk

    Seasoned bread crumbs

    Fresh ground pepper

    Favorite Cooking oil

    1 Qt. Ragu Spaghetti Sauce – Choice of mix (or your favorite pasta sauce)

    10 oz Package Shredded Mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and warm spaghetti sauce on the stove. If my wife does not have any of her homemade sauce available (like when I made this), she will "doctor" Ragu Traditional Sauce to her taste with some additional oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder and brown sugar. We like a flavorful and sweet sauce.

For thick chicken breast, trim off fat and carefully slice horizontally in half for a thinner fillet. For smaller breast, hammer on skin side to &#frac14;" thick.

Heat oil in skillet, season meat with fresh ground pepper, then coat each breast in flour, egg wash then breadcrumbs. Place breaded fillets in hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.

Coat a 9" x 13" glass dish with cooking spray or oil and place fillets in it.

Take a spoon and cover each fillet with sauce, then a generous portion of shredded mozzarella cheese. Place dish in oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Remove from pan to serving platter or right to the plates. Serve with a tossed salad of mixed greens, garlic toast and a side portion of pasta of your choice (I like angel hair pasta) and remaining sauce with grated Parmesan cheese.

A nice Cabernet or Merlot goes well with this dish. Dessert of your choice. This dish is great for leftovers, so don't worry about making too much. This is a simple meal that can be made elegant by using your good china.

You can also make this dish a day ahead. Cool the fried chicken breast then cover with sauce and cheese and put in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. Then place in pre heated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Enjoy! ~ Joe (the doughgod)


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