For the sauce:
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot add in onions and saute for 1 1/2 minutes then add garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds longer. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf and 2 Tbsp fresh basil, then add additional salt if desired and season with pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat and cover saucepan with lid.
For the chicken:
While sauce is simmering, sprinkle each side of the chicken cutlet lightly with salt (about 1/16 tsp per each side), let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Combine Mozzarella and Provolone cheese in a bowl, set aside. Adjust oven rack 4-inches from broiler element and preheat broiler.
In a shallow dish, whisk together flour and egg until smooth. In a separate shallow dish, toss together Parmesan cheese, Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Working with 1 chicken cutlet at a time, dredge chicken in egg mixture coating both sides and allowing excess to run off, then immediately transfer to Parmesan mixture and coat both sides with mixture, while pressing gently to allow crumbs to adhere. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat process with remaining chicken cutlets. Pour 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and vegetable oil into a 10-inch non-stick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add 2 coated chicken cutlets and fry without moving them until bottom is crispy and golden brown, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, then using metal tongs rotate to opposite side and cook until golden brown, about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes longer. Transfer fried chicken to a large plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat process with remaining 2 pieces of chicken.
Place cutlets on rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle Mozzarella cheese mixture evenly over cutlets. Broil in oven until cheese is melted and beginning to brown, about 3 – 4 minutes (keep a close eye on it, make sure internal temp of chicken reaches 165 degrees). Remove from oven and cover each cutlet with 2 Tbsp marinara sauce. Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining 1/4 cup fresh basil and serve immediately, adding additional sauce while enjoying, as desired.
*freeze chicken breasts for 15 minutes to help slice easier, then lye breast flat and trim into two pieces through the thickness of the breast.
Image Credit: The Best Chicken Parmesan
Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated, March and April 2013, Issue #121. Pg. 6
from NUTRITIONCLUB http://nutritionclub.ca/the-best-chicken-parmesan/
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