Healthy Chicken Parm
by Missy Chase Lapine
This recipe is a family favorite, and no one will miss the higher-carb, fried-and-breaded version. For a family-friendly summer barbeque or year-round dinner, this meal's the ticket!
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup Basic Marinade for Chicken (recipe below)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (about 11⁄2 pounds)
- 11⁄2 cups store-bought tomato sauce
- 1⁄2 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe, below)
- 1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Put the marinade into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag, add the chicken, zip tight, and shake. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and as long as 24 hours, shaking the bag occasionally.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and spray with oil.
Remove the chicken from the marinade, discard the liquid, and grill the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until no longer pink inside. Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, mix the tomato sauce with the Orange or White Puree.
Preheat the broiler to high. Spread 3⁄4 cup of sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Lay 2 of the grilled cutlets on top of the sauce, sprinkle with half the grated Parmesan, and then layer the remaining 2 grilled cutlets on top of the Parmesan. Top the chicken with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan. Broil, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
To keep bugs away from your barbecue and to enjoy eating outside, plant some basil—flies hate it!
Basic Marinade for Chicken
Makes 1 cup marinade, enough for about 2 pounds of meat
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1⁄2 cup pomegranate or cranberry juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Orange Puree Make-Ahead Recipe
- 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
Makes about 2 cups of puree
In a medium-sized pot, cover the sweet potatoes and carrots with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes, until carrots are very tender. If the carrots aren’t thoroughly cooked, they’ll leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables in recipes, which will reveal their presence to your man—a gigantic no-no for the Sneaky Chef.
Drain the sweet potatoes and carrots and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth; no pieces of carrots or potatoes should remain. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree, but the less water, the better.
This recipe makes about 2 cups of puree; double it if you want to store another 2 cups. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Missy Chase Lapine is the former publisher of Eating Well magazine. A mother of two young daughters, she knows how picky kids can be—and she’s got the kitchen experiments to prove it! She is on the Culinary Arts facility of The New School, in New York City, and also gives cooking classes and coaching to busy families hoping to learn how to eat healthier. Her book, The Sneaky Chef, is published by Running Press. Her next book The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen) will be out in April 2008. You can learn more about Missy at her website, www.thesneakychef.com