Naked Chicken Parmesan

Happy Labor Day everyone!

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With Labor Day weekend comes the realization that summer is going to end. As much as I like to say that summer is my favorite season, I must admit that I absolutely adore fall. For one, I love school-supply shopping (When I was younger I looked forward to my annual trip to Staples, where I could stock up on Lisa Frank folders and Jelly Roll pens). Second, there is something so trendy and cute about fall attire. My boots, vests, and scarves start begging to be worn around early September despite the fact it’s still 80-something degrees outside. And lastly (and probably the most important), is that with fall comes the enjoyment of fall food. Apples, pumpkins, and spices abound during this upcoming season. I, for one, cannot wait to start making and enjoying some delicious and nutritious comfort food dishes-dishes that warm your tummy and your heart.

All this thinking about comfort food has certainly made me crave it, and it is with that in mind that I bring you Naked Chicken Parmesan.

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This grilled chicken is too naked. It needs some cheese to spice things up!

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Now that looks better. All the flavor without the breading!

 

Chicken parmesan is one of those delicious Italian dishes that has a great potential to be healthy. The only thing holding chicken parm back is the thick breading and frying process that makes the dish tastes so darn good. Delicious: yes. Good for your waistline: no. Luckily, I have found a way to get the great taste of chicken parmesan by undressing it a bit, hence the word “naked” in the title.

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Removing the breading from the chicken parmesan recipe actually made the flavors of the dish better in my opinion! The tomato sauce and cheese are much more prominent in the flavor profile when there isn’t any oily crumbs to battle with. Plus, think of all the nutrients you’re getting from the dish: the lean protein from the chicken, the lycopene from the tomato, and the low-cal calcium kick from the Parmesan cheese. As long as you don’t go overboard on any store-bought tomato sauce (notorious for containing hidden sugar) and Parmesan (Parmesan only 20 calories per tablespoon, but that doesn’t mean you should engulf 1 cup of Parmesan), you’re looking at a mighty healthy meal.

And now a disclaimer: I used store-bought tomato sauce due to lack of free time but I seriously recommend making a homemade pasta sauce. I highly recommend this one by Jodi at What’s Cooking Good Looking. Serve this chicken with a salad and consider your fall comfort dish good to go!

Naked Chicken Parmesan (serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast, uncooked
  • 1-1.5 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Heat a skillet over medium heat. On a plate, rub your chicken breast with the olive oil (feel free to really massage it in) and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Place your chicken on the skillet and let it cook for about 10 minutes (until it is golden brown on both sides). Remove chicken from the skillet once cooked and place it on a (NEW) plate. Do not use the plate the raw chicken was on…that one should be washed with hot water and soap before it is used again. Next, top your chicken with the tomato sauce and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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