Okay, I’m not gonna lie. I really call this Chicken Parmesan, but the funny thing is there’s no parmesan in it since we live in Turkey, where said cheese is hard to find. I threw this together a few months ago on a whim, and it’s become one of our new family favorites, good for company too. (You could probably add ¼ cup of parmesan to your sauce for extra zing.)
4-5 LARGE chicken breasts (don’t try using scrawny, little ones; they’ll end up overcooked, tough, and miserable to eat.)
1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1-2 TBSP olive oil (plus more for browning chicken)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp salt
24 oz. plain tomato sauce
5 TBSP cooking wine
Step 1: the Sauce**
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. When it’s translucent, add the sugar, salt, and seasonings. Stir a minute or two; then add the cooking wine and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer.
Step 2: the Chicken
Slice each chicken breast horizontally into two flat, even cuts. Heat up additional olive in a heavy non-stick skillet, and brown the chicken pieces on medium high heat, for two minutes on each side.
Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in an oven-proof dish. Pour the warm sauce over them, and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. The cheese ends up toasty on top. You could also wait to sprinkle it on for the last 15 minutes of baking if you prefer it less browned.. Serve with rice or pasta. (Serves 6 people)
**In a pinch, you could use a ready-made marinara sauce instead, and maybe jazz it up with some cooking wine. We like slow cooking at our house, which is a good thing since it’s actually the only kind of cooking around in our little corner of the world, where convenience foods hardly exist.
What’s your favorite “go-to” main dish?