So quick and easy…this will be a repeat many times! Make extra and before melting cheese, freeze it for another later dinner. Vegetarian version with tofu is found in the Soy Oh Soy chapter of my cookbook.
4 chicken breasts
1½ cup Italian flavor bread crumbs
2 Tbs expeller pressed oil (not olive oil)
2-3 cup prepared tomato sauce or pasta sauce
½ lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
2 eggs, beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees. In a shallow bowl large enough to accommodate a chicken breast, beat eggs with a fork and set aside. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl.
2. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts. Trim fat off with kitchen shears or a knife. To avoid unevenly cooked chicken, trim off a little of the thickest side using a knife horizontally. Or you can flatten with a meat mallet.
3. Dip both sides of chicken into egg mixture first, then into bread crumbs, both sides. Place on plate and repeat until all the chicken is breaded.
4. Preheat pan with ¼” of oil. Test oil for readiness drop a little bread crumbs in the pan. If it begins to sizzle immediately it is ready for the chicken. Place breaded chicken breasts in hot oil. Do not overcrowd pan or the oil with cool and the chicken will absorb too much fat. The trick to lightly frying is that the temperature of the oil must remain consistent, which is achieved by not overcrowding the pan.
5. Fry chicken in oil at medium to high heat until lightly browned on both sides. Once browned, remove chicken and allow to drain on paper towels. Only add more oil if there is no oil remaining, and always add before the next new batch of chicken. Also remove any burned bread crumbs before each new batch.
6. Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, about one inch deep. Place chicken slices on top of sauce side by side. Do not layer chicken, and do not add sauce over chicken.
7. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.