Thick, boneless chicken breast is swaddled in whole wheat panko bread crumbs instead of the usual entombment of nutritionally bankrupt white bread crumbs. This is followed by a veneer of tomato sauce and a layer of fresh mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano. Lucia Esposito pan-fried hers, while I broiled mine. There wasn’t much difference in flavor, thankfully. I think you’ll agree that this is a marvelous take on the Italian classic.
- 0.75 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 4 Ounce fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 even slices
- 0.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 cup arugula
- 2 cup no sugar added marinara sauce, such as Trader Joe's
- olive oil cooking spray
- 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 large egg whites
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
Preheat the broiler.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, about 18 inches below the heating element. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top.
Place the bread crumbs in a shallow broilerproof baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. One cutlet at a time, coat the cutlets with egg white, then move each cutlet to the bread crumbs and coat it evenly. Coat the chicken with 4 seconds of cooking spray and place each cutlet on the rack. Place the cutlets under the broiler and cook until browned on one side, about 8 minutes. Then flip the cutlets over and brown the other side.
Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer in a large saucepan.
Place the arugula in a chilled bowl. Dress with vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the broiler and place it in a large ovenproof skillet. Top each cutlet with tomato sauce and 2 slices of mozzarella. return the cutlets to the broiler and cook until the mozzarella is melted. Remove from the broiler and sprinkle the Parmigiano evenly over the chicken.
Divide the chicken and salad among 4 plates.
Tips: If possible, use a 24-month-old Parmigiano-Reggiano; it has a very developed flavor but is equal in calories to younger cheeses.
If the chicken is not cooked enough but is fully browned, turn off the broiler and shut the oven door to let the chicken finish cooking.