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by Marisa Olsen

I'm trying to cook in more at The Saffron Kitchen despite the temptation of trying every possible restaurant in downtown Jersey City. I was in the mood for comfort food and decided to take a stab at Chicken Parmesan. Not sure if it's the most authentic approach, but I gave it a shot. The chicken came out tender and crispy. I highly recommend using panko crumbs rather than traditional bread crumbs.  I was also generous with the cheese and tomato sauce (surprise, surprise).

Chicken Parmesan
Serves two

1 lb of thinly sliced chicken breasts
2 eggs
1/2 cup of panko crumbs
1 cup of tomato sauce (I made Marcella's Tomato Sauce III)
1 cup of ricotta
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
parmesan for finishing
Safflower oil

Prepare your tomato sauce. I made Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce III: a can of San Marzano tomatoes, one stick of butter, half of a peeled onion, and a pinch of salt and sugar. Simmer for 45 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal. It's that easy. 

Heat a skillet with two tablespoons of Safflower oil. While the oil heats gather two bowls. Whisk the two eggs in one bowl and place the panko in the other
Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. Dip the breasts into the whisked egg and then into the panko crumbs.

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook five minutes on each side. The panko crumbs create a nice crispy crust on the chicken.
While the chicken is sautéing, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Once the chicken is sauteed, remove from heat. Spoon some tomato sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. Add the chicken breasts,  ricotta,  the rest of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and parsley.
Bake for 25 minutes. Add a bit more parsley and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a Caesar salad (I also made Julia Child's Mushrooms with Butter), and a baguette. Tada!

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