Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Chicken Parmesan

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Good things can come from jars. I’m reminded of it every time I am in the grocery store looking at items like olives and pickles. Roasting red peppers is something that is very easy to do yourself. But when it is time to whip up a meal, having them already roasted and ready to go is a convenience like no other.

Roasted red peppers offer great flavor to so many types of dishes, and in my experience, those that you can purchase in a jar do not disappoint. I’ve used them when making hummus and other kinds of dips, and they are the inspiration for the recipe I share with you today.

This Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Parmesan recipe uses this jarred pepper to elevate what I’ve often found to be overlooked in this dish — the sauce. The hearty blend of roasted red peppers, crushed tomatoes, onions and garlic give the panko-crusted chicken the camaraderie it deserves. And because chicken parmesan can be so versatile, the recipe for the sauce can be easily doubled or tripled to accommodate whatever accompaniment you decide for the star of the show.

This classic Italian-American meal is one of which I can never get enough. It continues to be the source of many of my cravings. And thanks to this version, I find this dish on my mind more and more. So check out this easy recipe that allows you to take a few shortcuts by letting the cans and jars filling our grocery store shelves perform much of the heavy lifting.

Roasted Red Pepper Marinara Chicken Parmesan

(recipe serving size: 4 people)

For the chicken:

2 lb chicken breast, sliced into 4-5 cutlets or into 8-10 strips

2 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp granulated garlic

2 tsp dried basil

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken with the spices and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

For the roasted red pepper sauce:

16 oz roasted red peppers, patted dried and coarsely chopped

1 small sweet onion or 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tb olive oil

1 tb chopped parsley

1 cup red wine

2 cups crushed tomatoes

Sauté onion in butter and olive oil with 3/4 tsp salt and crushed red pepper flakes for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, parsley and roasted red peppers. Sauté for another 5 minutes.

Add the wine and the crushed tomatoes along with 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Simmer with the lid off for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to keep warm with the lid on.

For the breading:

2 1/2 cups of panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup water

Combine the panko along with the spices in one dish. Place the flour in another. Combine the eggs and water in another dish.

For the frying:

Canola oil

Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Drop a few panko breadcrumbs in the oil to test. The crumbs should sizzle instantaneously but not burn.

Coat the chicken in the flour. Shake off any excess and then coat the chicken in the egg and water mixture. Let an excess egg drip from the chicken. Coat both sides of the chicken with the panko and gently place the chicken in the pan of oil.

Fry the chicken for 4 minutes on each side. Place the cooked chicken on a plate lined with paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Bringing it all together:

Turn the broiler on in your oven.

Place the fried chicken breasts in the pan of roasted red pepper sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Place your favorite cheese across each of the chicken breasts and melt under the broiler. Serve while warm on bread or over your favorite pasta.

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